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Brazil wants to keep using World Cup security plan

/ 11:23 AM December 13, 2013

An injured fan is carried on a stretcher after clashes with team fans during a Brazilian league soccer match between Atletico Paranaense and Vasco da Gama in Joinville, southern Brazil, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013. A key Brazilian league match was stopped Sunday after fans started fighting in the stands and a helicopter had to land on the pitch to airlift a seriously injured man. A doctor said two other fans were hospitalized in serious condition and one was treated for a minor injury at the stadium. AP

SAO PAULO — Brazil wants to use the security model from next year’s World Cup to help reduce fan violence in local matches across the country.

Government officials said on Thursday that all local competitions should be able to benefit from the actions that will be implemented during football’s showcase event.

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The announcement comes less than a week after hundreds of rival fans confronted each other inside a stadium in the final round of the Brazilian league, sending shocking images of violence across the world and raising doubts about the country’s preparedness to host the World Cup.

After a meeting in Brasilia, high-level government officials said the World Cup security plan was successfully tested in the Confederations Cup and should be used as a reference in local competitions in the future.

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Even though the Confederations Cup was marked by protests and violence outside stadiums, World Cup organizers claim the security plan worked well because no fans were hurt, no games were interrupted and no teams were affected.

“For the World Cup we have a series of well-established instruments and protocols that guaranteed the safety of everyone during the Confederations Cup,” Justice Ministry Jose Eduardo Cardozo said. “Now the suggestion is to create a guide for procedures to determine the responsibilities and attributions of those involved in the security of the local events.”

The plan includes an integrated intelligence service and security control centers inside stadiums, as well as new guidelines for joint work between public and private security agents.

“We are not starting from scratch,” Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said.

Security in the match between Vasco da Gama and Atletico Paranaense was done by private guards instead of police, similar to what is planned for the World Cup. But while there were only about 80 stewards separating the crowd in the southern city of Joinville, World Cup organizers said nearly 900 private security agents worked at every match during the Confederations Cup.

The fighting in Joinville stopped only after police arrived and fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. Four fans were injured, including one who had to be airlifted from the field to a hospital.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff called for more police in the stadiums and more strict punishment to fans involved in violence.

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The government officials on Thursday said other actions to reduce violence will be discussed by a working group before the end of the year.

Among them are the expansion of a national registry of fans known to have been involved in fan fighting, the creation of police stations dedicated to fan issues and new measures to increase the clubs’ responsibilities when their fans are involved.

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TAGS: Brazil, Football, Sao Paulo, Security, World Cup
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