Police strikes rock Brazil ahead of WC

Protests are scheduled to take place across Brazil with just 22 days left until the tournament starts.

The FIFA 2014 World Cup runs from June 12 to July 13. Picture: Facebook.com

CAPE TOWN - Police in Brazil will stage a 24-hour strike across 14 states on Wednesday, including six that will host World Cup matches.

The work stoppage comes just 22 days before the start of football's premier showcase event.

Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais, Bahia, Pernambuco and Amazonas are just some of the states that will be affected by the strike, all of which are home to World Cup host stadiums.

With the football showpiece around the corner and elections scheduled for October, Brazil has faced a series of protests and strikes for better pay and working conditions.

Last week, military police responsible for maintaining public order staged a partial strike in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco. As a result, the state capital Recife was hit by a wave of looting.

World Cup security officials have moved to dispel fears for supporters travelling to the tournament, revealing that contingency plans are in place to deal with any unrest during the month-long tournament.

Police strikes are "illegal and unconstitutional" according to Brazil's Supreme Court, with Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo stating that he does not expect strikes to occur during the tournament.

"I don't believe that police officers, who swore to respect their nation, would want to expose their country to an unacceptable situation in front of the whole world. I don't think there will be strikes during the World Cup."

On Tuesday, demonstrators angry with Brazil's spending in preparation for the World Cup burst into the hall where the tournament trophy was on display.

The trophy is on a tour around the host country ahead of the start of the tournament on 12 June.

Protestors hurled rocks and chunks of wood at the historic building in Belem, the Para state capital, where the trophy was on display.

Organisers called off the viewing and swiftly removed the trophy from the area.