World Cup video shows police 'pepper spray' protester in the face at point blank range

The incident occurred as police clashed with a small group of protesters ahead of the opening ceremony in Sao Paulo

Shocking video footage has emerged showing the moment an anti-World Cup protester is apparently sprayed in the eyes by riot police at point blank range.

The man was arrested and restrained by police officers, who can be seen spraying a substance directly at his face in the footage.

On Thursday, at least 200 protesters clashed with riot police as they sought to block a road five miles from the Arena Corinthians ahead of the opening ceremony in Sao Paulo.

At least one person was detained by police, and six people injured, three of them journalists.

The World Cup has cost billions of pounds of public money in a nation fraught with poverty and inequality.

Warning: some readers may find this video upsetting

Demonstrations have repeatedly erupted in Brazil's metropolitan areas in recent months, with even a small number of protesters regularly blocking main roadways and severely disrupting traffic.

 

Last year, more than a million people took to the streets in protest against perceived excessive spending on the World Cup, with demonstrators demanding big improvements in woeful public services like hospitals, schools, security and transportation.

But President Dilma Rousseff has dismissed complaints about the heavy spending and delays in preparing stadiums and airports, and described comparing funding for the World Cup against funding for education and healthcare as "false dilemma".

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