World Cup 2014 kicks off with colourful ceremony

The 2014 Fifa World Cup officially got under way on Thursday with a colourful opening ceremony before hosts Brazil beat Croatia 3-1 in the first match.

A cast of 660 dancers paid tribute to the country's nature, people and football with a show around a "living" ball on the Arena de Sao Paulo pitch.

The final act saw a performance of official World Cup song "We Are One" by Jennifer Lopez and rapper Pitbull.

Watch highlights as Brazil beat Croatia 3-1 in the opening match of World Cup 2014

The month-long tournament sees 32 nations compete in 64 games.

Many fans took to the streets to sing and chant their support for Brazil as excitement built in the hours before the tournament began.

But there were also demonstrations from those unhappy with the expense of hosting the tournament.

Police in Sao Paulo used tear gas to break up one protest, which involved about 50 people, while striking airport workers in Rio de Janeiro blocked a road outside the airport, demanding a wage increase and a World Cup bonus.

The strike was to have lasted for 24 hours but union leaders called it off early for legal reasons.

While there was no trouble within the 65,000-seater Arena de Sao Paulo during the opening ceremony, there were complaints about the sound quality.

(BBC)

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