Protesters smear FIFA headquarters with paint

ZURICH Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:40pm EDT

Police officers stand guard in front of a banner during a protest against the 2014 World Cup in Rio de Janeiro June 12, 2014. REUTERS/Marcelo Regua

Police officers stand guard in front of a banner during a protest against the 2014 World Cup in Rio de Janeiro June 12, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Marcelo Regua

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ZURICH (Reuters) - About 150 protesters gathered outside FIFA's headquarters in Zurich on Saturday with banners criticizing the ruling body's management of the World Cup in Brazil, causing minor damage to the building.

FIFA's reputation has been tarnished by allegations of corruption and its running of the tournament which started on Thursday has also been criticized.

"Around 150 people have taken part in the unauthorized demonstration," Michael Wirz, spokesman for the Zurich police, told Reuters.

"The event was peaceful overall with nobody injured, but there was some minor damage to the building," he said.

Pictures published on the website of Swiss newspaper 20 Minuten showed masked protesters smearing the signpost outside the building with red paint and agitating banners of left-wing youth organisations.

Activist website Indymedia.ch had posted a call to protest under the slogan: "We love football, we hate FIFA".

The protests should be seen as a sign of solidarity with people in Brazil who had been driven from their homes to make space for stadiums, Indymedia.ch said.

(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz, editing by Ed Osmond)

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