Confed Cup gets going amid protests, some setbacks

By Tales Azzoni

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, June 18 2013 10:01 a.m. MDT

A policeman fired tear gas canister at protesters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, June 16, 2013. Brazilian police have dispersed a small protest against a public transport fare hike that broke out in front of Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium ahead of the Mexico-Italy soccer match during the Confederations Cup.

Bruno Magalhaes, Associated Press

FORTALEZA, Brazil — Amid great crowds, violent protests and some organizational setbacks, the Confederations Cup is underway in Brazil.

The first round of matches ended on Monday with favorites Brazil, Italy and Spain winning their matches and the host nation getting an idea of what it will have to improve for the rest of the tournament and especially the World Cup a year from now.

There is still a lot of unfinished work in the six host cities across Brazil and there have been mistakes by organizers and a lack of infrastructure in the some of the airports.

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke acknowledged after the inaugural match that there are things to "improve," but says "all together it really was a success."

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