- Associated Press - Friday, June 14, 2013

BRASILIA, BRAZIL (AP) - About 200 people burned tires and blocked the main road in front of the Brasilia stadium that will host the Confederations Cup opener Saturday.

The protest was organized by local groups complaining of excessive costs of the Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup.

A black cloud of smoke was seen near the stadium Friday morning as protesters held banners complaining about the local government. Firefighters and police were called to the scene but there was no confrontation with protesters. The road was cleared early in the afternoon.

Protester Edson da Silva said the demonstrators opposed “all the money that was spent by the government” for the World Cup. He said the protests will continue.

Brazil faces Japan in Saturday’s opening game of a tournament that serves as a tuneup for next year’s World Cup. Authorities are on high alert.

Earlier, FIFA expressed “full confidence” that Brazilian police can cope with the violent protests and disorder in the streets leading to the tournament,

There were clashes with police on Thursday in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro after thousands protested rising bus and subway fares. Police said 40 people were detained in Sao Paulo, some with knives and gasoline bombs.

FIFA spokesman Pekka Odriozola said Friday that soccer’s governing body is “monitoring the situation” and in touch with local officials. He stressed that FIFA has “full confidence and trust in the local authorities” to cope with “any circumstance.”

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