Scolari backs right to protest but doesn't want World Cup affected
Brazil head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has warned against the perils of protests during the upcoming World Cup in the South American country as tensions mount between police and residents of particularly poor areas of Rio de Janeiro.
Speaking on tv show Fantastico, the 2002 winner said: "I think protests can happen. If they are normal, without smashing things up, then that is democracy."
"But I don't know if it is the right time. They can think, they can express themselves, they can say 'I want a better Brazil too', but I don't want it to be something that causes problems in our environment."
Scolari's has fears that any public unrest could jeopardise his team's bid to win a World Cup for the first time on home soil, having failed at the final hurdle in 1950 againsy Uruguay.
When pressed about whether or not such protests could affect his squad, he said: "It could, big time."
It is widely hoped that any public disorder will be halted during the staging of the tournament, with football ideally uniting the country for a month and possibly longer if the hosts triumph.