BRASILIA: The Brazilian government has insisted that the nature of weekend street protests suggests they are running out of steam ahead of the 2014 World Cup and Rio 2016 Olympic Games writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Both world federation FIFA and the administration of President Dilma Rousseff were taken by surprise at the nationwide demonstrations over spending which exploded during the Confederations Cup in June.

Further protests were staged in half a dozen cities over the weekend but Social Sector Miniter Gilberto Carvalho tried to play down their significance.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has said that the body expects the government to bring the situation and the issues under control by the time the World Cup opens next June.

Carvalho said: “The protests were far less numerous than in June which suggests that something has changed.”

More than 200 people were arrested across the country, including 77 in Rio de Janeiro, 40 in Sao Paulo and 17 in Belo Horizonte – all World Cup cities – mainly for damage to public property.