Posted: Sunday June 30, 2013 11:37 AM

Confed Cup Live: AP follows the final day action

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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:

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Brazilian police told AP's Tales Azzoni that they would allow people to protest outside the Maracana Stadium as long as they kept their demonstrations peaceful. People without tickets usually are not allowed near the venue in FIFA tournaments, but the Maracana sits in a crowded Rio neighborhood and authorities said they would not keep local residents away from the venue. A few civil law enforcement officers and an elite police unit were in front of the main entrance, so far just watching the demonstrators. A handful of people were calling for attention to human trafficking, and others complained of poor conditions at Rio de Janeiro hospitals. "We want better conditions in the health services in Rio,'' said 59-year-old Geralda Ramos, who works at a local hospital. "We need to speak up because the government is not paying attention to us. We need better salaries and better equipment to be able to treat our people.''

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A crowd of protesters has started to make its way from Saenz Pena, a square not far from central Rio, and is heading for the Maracana, says AP's Jenny Barchfield. Once they get near the stadium, they'll find officers in riot gear and tanks awaiting them. If there is going to be a violent standoff, it's likely to occur there.

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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 Barchfield. Outside the Maracana Stadium, a handful of protesters held banners saying, "How much is silence worth?''

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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.

 
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