SAO PAULO: Police in the city which will host the World Cup’s Opening Match in June reported 230 arrests after the latest street protests over the weekend.

Several thousand opponents of government expenditure on facilities for the finals took to central squares until being dispersed by the use of tear gas. Several journalists were among those detained.

Five police personnel and two of the arrested demonstrators needed hospital treatment.

The military police said in later statements that it had deployed a new tactic of using 140 unarmed officers – trained in martial arts – to control the protests. This included the use of the containment tactic known as ‘kettling’.

The protests came at the end of a week which saw FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke remind Brazilian Cup organisers that significant work was needed to reach minimum preparatory standards.