Ronaldo backs hitting violent World Cup protesters

Legendary Brazilian footballer Ronaldo has defended the use of police force against violent protesters in the World Cup.

The Times reported that the World Cup striker said that security forces should be ready to use force to enforce peace.

Ronaldo Nazario is a member of the World Cup local organising committee. Credit: PA

“Protests are always valid ... But the moment masked vandals appear the police have to contain them,” Ronaldo said. “I think they have to bring down the clubs, get them off the street.”

Brazilian police were criticised for firing tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse anti-government protesters during last year's Confederations Cup.

More recently, Brazil has seen multiple demonstrations against the cost of staging the tournament.while essential services like health and education continue to suffer from under-investment.

Protesters have vowed to return to the streets when the World Cup begins on June 12.