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Brazilian officials weary of massive protests around Wednesday’s Confederations Cup semifinal


Protesters run as police officers fire tear gas during a demonstration against government waste and corruption and the use of public funds to organize international football tournaments, in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro State, on June 25, 2013. Brazil is currently facing unprecedented social unrest, marked by almost daily street protests to demand better public services and an end to rampant political corruption, the protests come as Brazil hosts a dry run for the World Cup, called the Confederations Cup. AFP PHOTO / YASUYOSHI CHIBA (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

When words like “postponement” start being used at official level, there may be some over-caution at work here -- but it certainly seems worth talking about:

Officials in some corners of Brazil are wondering aloud about the possibility to postponing Wednesday’s semifinal between the host country and Uruguay due to scheduled protest that could draw more than 100,000 to Belo Horizonte.

At least one man in the middle of the ongoing competition, Brazilian striker Fred, has been outspoken in his support for the demonstrations, although he calling for them to proceed peacefully.

“I’m in favor of the protests because the people deserve better,” he said. “It has to be done without violence and vandalism though.”

Belo Horizonte has already been the site of some of the protests that have continue to roil during the Confederations Cup. Police there said up to 60,000 protesters may have participated around a match Saturday, when riot police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.

For some good writing on where the worlds of soccer and social unrest meet, check out Roger Bennett’s good work from Brazil here.