BRASILIA: Brazil is preparing to draft in the armed forces to help contain possible violent protests during the 2014 World Cup.

President Dilma Rousseff said federal law enforcement officers will be used to bolster local police forces in the World Cup’s 12 host cities to secure both match venues and fan fests at a cost of $791m (€577.4m) .

She added: “If necessary we will also mobilise the armed forces . . . We will guarantee the security of fans, tourists, teams and the chiefs-of-state that will visit us. I am certain we will host the Cup of Cups.”

The Rio de Janeiro state government last month formed a special police force to help control violent demonstrations during the World Cup and other large sporting and cultural events held in public venues.

Rio is set to be the focal point of the World Cup, hosting seven matches including the July 13 final, while the city is also preparing to stage the Olympic Games in 2016.

Riot force

Earlier it emerged that a special 10,000-strong riot force is to be established for the World Cup in an effort to support police control countrywide during the tournament. The Black Bloc anarchist movement has announced plans for demonstrations during the football showpiece, which commences on June 12.

The level of public spending on the World Cup and the Olympic Games was one of the key issues behind violent protests across Brazil in June, action that coincided with the country’s hosting of the Confederations Cup, the traditional warm-up tournament for the World Cup itself.

FIFA on Wednesday said it is revising its plans for ‘Fan Fests’ during the World Cup to accommodate the threat of possible civil unrest.

Secretary-general  Jerome Valcke said that the locations of some Fan Fests will be switched for security reasons. Writing on social media website Twitter on Wednesday evening, Valcke reiterated FIFA’s faith in Brazil’s security provisions, comparing the current situation to concerns raised ahead of South Africa’s staging of the 2010 tournament.

Valcke said: “Security is comparable to football: it is a team sport and all have to play together. We have full confidence in the arrangements by Brazil. It is a reality that the question of security is always raised by the media. As it was in South Africa in 2010 and all went well. As in 2010 there will be an integrated security command centre. Everyone coming to Brazil will not need to worry in regards to safety.”


20th February 2014
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