Social movements launched protests here Friday as Brazil readied for the start of the Confederations Cup soccer tournament.

The mobilization in Brasilia was meant to highlight the amount of public money spent on the competition and the evictions of mainly low-income people the six cities that are hosting matches.

The roughly 50,000 Brazilians who live on the streets "receive no attention from a government that spends millions on a soccer tournament," a group representing homeless people said.

Friday's protest outside Brasilia's National stadium coincided with the release of a report from the U.N. Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, Raquel Rolnik, noting that sports mega-events "often result in forced evictions, displacement, sweeping operations against the homeless and a general augmentation of the cost of adequate housing."

"The situation is, unfortunately, not different in Brazil as we speak," she said.

Brazil's minister of sport, Aldo Rebelo, said neither the demonstrations in Brasilia nor Thursday's disturbances in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo over a hike in transit fares will disrupt the Confederations Cup, which is seen as a dress rehearsal for the much bigger 2014 World Cup tournament in the South American nation.

Police in Sao Paulo were criticized for their heavy-handed response to the protests, which saw dozens injured and 237 people arrested, including journalists.

Sao Paulo is not one of the six venues for Confederations Cup matches. EFE