BRASILIA: A new security spike has erupted in Brazil after two Ceara fans were shot dead by rival supporters near one of the new World Cup stadia.

The Arena Castelao in Fortaleza was the scene of the latest spark to

prompt questions about the nation’s ability to provide effective security at the imminent Confederations Cup, next year’s World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Preparations have also been marred by delays to the rebuilding of the Maracana Stadium in Rio, construction of the new Itaquero venue in Sao Paulo and the indefinite closure of the Stadio Joao Havelange because of problems with the roof.

Fans of Ceara, who had just won 1-0, were reportedly ambushed after the game by Fortaleza supporters three miles from the stadium which has been undergoing security tests ahead of its hosting role at the Confederations Cup in June.

‘Poor publicity’

An editorial in the Folha newspaper said: “Brazil has every reason to be concerned with domestic problems. Brazil leading the rankings for number of football-related deaths.

“In terms of the World Cup and Confederations Cup, it is not much of a concern as these local rivalries are not involved – it is a different type of support. But it is not good publicity for the country. Brazil is a very violent society. Football is like strong beer, some people cannot take it.

“This leads to more and more fatalities.”

However Tiago Paes, a local World Cup local organising committee official, insisted potential visitors need have no safety concerns.

He said: “A lot of training work is being undertaken by the military police, by the civil police and even by the army.”

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