Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Neymar backs 'peaceful' World Cup protests

By CNN Staff
updated 12:31 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Brazil forward Neymar is tipped to be one of the stars of the 2014 World Cup. But the Brazilian international is not only concerned about events on the pitch... Brazil forward Neymar is tipped to be one of the stars of the 2014 World Cup. But the Brazilian international is not only concerned about events on the pitch...
The face of the 2014 World Cup?
Golden Boy
Emulating Pele
Past and Present
Family Affair
'More than a Club'
A bumpy start
  • Neymar supports Brazilians right to protest during 2014 World Cup
  • While understanding ongoing protests, Neymar insists they must be peacful.
  • Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari is worried about the impact of protests on his team

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Brazilian footballer Neymar has given the thumbs up to political protests during this summer's World Cup in Brazil -- as long as they are peaceful.

Demonstrations -- some violent -- have been taking place all over Brazil since last summer's Confederations Cup, raising concerns about security at the upcoming tournament.

They were originally organized to protest against increases in travel fares, but have since gone on to include demonstrations against staging the World Cup in Brazil, corruption in government and a lack of social spending.

"My opinion is that protesting, there's no problem with it, as long as it is peaceful without violence, without vandalism," said Neymar, who was talking to CNN at a Castrol Footkhana event.

"If it's for Brazil getting better, they have to protest," added the Brazilian, who plays for Spanish club Barcelona.

Smaller scale protests are still continuing, with many people earlier this month showing their disapproval following the death of a young man allegedly beaten by police, as city authorities attempt to drive armed gangs away from communities and restore authority ahead of the World Cup.

To make matters worse for FIFA and organizers of the tournament, three of the 12 stadiums to be used this summer have yet to be finished.

Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has also spoken about the political backdrop in Brazil, arguing that any demonstrations taking place during the competition would have a negative impact on his squad.

"I don't know if it's the right time," Scolari said in an interview on TV show Fantastico. "It could [affect my players], big time."

Winning the World Cup for the five-time winners would help Brazil banish the memories of the nation's darkest sporting hour -- letting a lead slip to allow Uruguay to become world champions in 1950, the last time the tournament was held on home soil.

"My advice is that they cheer for the national team until the end because they are important and we need them so that we can put more pressure in the game which will help us," added Neymar.

Read: Dani Alves eats banana thrown at him

Read: Chelsea dent Liverpool's title charge

Read: Advantage Atletico after Valencia win

Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:23 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
updated 8:53 AM EST, Wed December 10, 2014
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
updated 9:09 AM EDT, Mon October 27, 2014
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
updated 9:48 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
updated 12:22 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
updated 2:19 PM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
updated 8:47 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
updated 6:34 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
updated 6:41 PM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
updated 9:10 AM EDT, Fri October 10, 2014
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.