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Fans Gather To Support Tahiti, Security Remains Tight At Maracana

posted 20 Jun 2013, 12:09 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 20 Jun 2013, 12:09 ]

Soccer fans throw support behind Tahiti as they are set to face off against world champions Spain while security tightens around Maracana stadium ahead of massive protest.

 RIO DE JANEIROBRAZIL (JUNE 20, 2013)(REUTERS) -  As wave of protests continued to plague the Confederations Cup, security was very tight around the Maracana stadium on Thursday (June 20) with a heightened police presence ahead of a mass protest dubbed 'One Million March'.

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff ordered the deployment of federal troops to five cities hosting Confederations Cup matches after protests turned violent for the fourth night in a row.

In Fortaleza, where Brazil beat Mexico on Wednesday in a Confederations Cup game, protesters crossed police lines and were pushed back by security forces with tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray.

The atmosphere outside the Maracana, however, was one of tropical sunshine and smiles as Pacific Islanders Tahiti went up against Spain.

The underdogs of the tournament are expected to face a beating against the World Champions, but even if they don't score any goals, they have won the hearts of the Brazilian people.

"We are for Tahiti because they play football for fun and not professionally, andBrazil used to do that. Tahiti don't play for money, and people like that more," said one Brazilian fan in a group with T.A.H.I.T.I. written on the back of their shirts.

"And if Spain score 10 goals and Tahiti score one, it will be Tahiti's one goal that is remembered," cheered his friend.

But the chances of Tahiti getting even one goal past the Spanish are remote.

"Spain will play games with Tahiti, even if they are putting on their reserves, but it will be easy for them to beat them," said Fernando, a Brazilian fan who supportsSpain.

"Spain are going to win, they are the Champions of the World - behind Brazil of course!," said another Carioca.