Protests mark start of World Cup in Brazil

Protesters in Sao Paulo
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There were clashes in the streets of Sao Paulo Thursday ahead of the start of the World Cup.

Sao Paulo is hosting the opening match of the tournament between hosts Brazil and Croatia this afternoon.

Earlier today, police used tear gas against protesters who gathered in the city. The security forces were seen pepper spraying a detained man in the face during the scuffles.

A journalist was hurt during the scuffles.

Later, masked protesters were seen hurling objects at the police as a fire burned in the street.

Brazilian security forces are keen to avoid the mass protests the country saw during last year's World Cup warm-up tournament.

Many Brazilians are angry that over $11 billion has been spent to host the World Cup while basic social services are poorly financed.

Meantime, fans have started to arrive for the opening match.

The soccer-obsessed nation hopes Brazil will get the coveted cup on home turf.

Fans began to converge on the stadium in Sao Paulo early, wearing colorful outfits.

An army of street cleaners was deployed around the venue to tidy things up before the game.