Confed Cup Live: AP follows the final day action
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -The Associated Press is following events closely in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday. The Confederations Cup final kicks off at 7 p.m. local time (2200 GMT). Follow this live feed for constantly updated information:
The Confederations Cup has been marred by violent anti-government protests, partly aimed at the high cost of staging next year's World Cup. More are expected for the final day of the Confederations Cup, but no one is quite sure how big they will be. Several thousand police have been put on alert, but as of noon in Rio, only a few hundred people had gathered in the center of the city, according to AP's Jenny Barchfield. Outside the Maracana Stadium, a handful of protesters held banners saying, "How much is silence worth?''
The clouds hovering over Rio de Janeiro haven't darkened the mood ahead of Sunday's Confederations Cup final between Brazil and Spain. The Brazilian fans are already out on the streets in force, many wearing the team's traditional yellow colors. In the country that will host next year's World Cup, football is a serious event, and the match against world champion Spain is going to be one to remember. Brazil's national team has been in a rebuilding phase under coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, the same man who led the team to its fifth and last World Cup title in 2002. But the team has so far met Scolari's expectations, winning all four of its matches to reach the final. Spain made it through by beating Italy in a penalty shootout in the semifinals, and could even be considered the underdog for the match since it will be played at the Maracana Stadium, Brazil's most renowned football venue.