The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Brazil wants to use World Cup security model to curb fan violence in local matches
SAO PAULO - Brazil wants to use the security model for next year's World Cup to help reduce fan violence in local matches across the country.
Government officials said Thursday that soccer at all levels should be able to benefit from the plans for the showcase event.
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. The violent images broadcast across the world raised doubts about the country's preparedness for 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 point.
Even though the Confederations Cup was marked by protests and violence outside stadiums, World Cup organizers contend 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 centres 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 stricter punishment for violent fans. Government officials Thursday said other actions to curb violence will be discussed before the end of the year.
Among them are the expansion of a national registry of fans prone to fighting, the creation of police stations dedicated to fan issues, and measures to increase the club responsibilities when its fans are involved.
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(1 of 5 articles for today)03/9/2014 1:08 AM 0