UK & World News
Joy For Brazil Fans As World Cup Kicks Off
Brazil have made a winning start to their World Cup campaign after a colourful opening ceremony at the Arena de Sao Paulo.
Watched by 65,000 fans, the hosts beat Croatia 3-1, thanks two goals from Neymar and a third just before the end from Oscar.
The opening ceremony featured Jennifer Lopez, rapper Pitbull and Brazilian pop star Claudia Leitte who sang the official Fifa World Cup theme "We Are One".
J-Lo, dressed in a low-cut sparkling green outfit, turned up for the performance despite earlier reports that she would not be able to attend.
At one point at the end of the ceremony, fans chanted and booed Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff and Fifa, football's world governing body.
Earlier police used tear gas and fired stun grenades at demonstrators who tried to block a key road to the stadium.
They were protesting against the cost of staging the tournament, saying it has diverted much-needed cash from the poor and infrastructure improvements.
Despite traffic problems and transit strikes in Sao Paulo in recent weeks, thousands made it to the opening game in plenty of time to party.
The home fans cheered alongside small pockets of spirited Croatians in their checkered red and white tops.
The pitch was covered in multi-coloured rays for the opening ceremony, which cost about $8m (£5m).
Video highlights and memorable bloopers from past World Cups were shown on the big screens at either end of the stadium toward the end of the 30-minute show.
It was choreographed by Paulo Barros, a two-time winner of the samba school title at the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro and also featured circus artists and soldiers.
Before the kick-off a video message from Pope Francis was shown on Brazilian TV. In it he called for the World Cup to be a showcase for teamwork and solidarity, not an exhibition of racism and greed.