RIO DE JANEIRO: More than 80 hooligan supporters of Chile are being expelled from Brazil after breaking in and running riot through the stadium media centre at Maracana before the Group B game against world champions Spain writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The vandals smashed a glass entry door and swept aside a handful of volunteers to enter the centre where they broke down temporary walls and overturned some tables and equipment.
Hurriedly-summoned security staff cornered them in one section of the centre. Authorities said later that 85 people had been arrested.
Men, women and children were among the crowd who broke in, claiming to be angry that they had no been able to obtain tickets for the match. Some of the rioters looted laptops, cameras and cellphones on their rampage.
In all of the Brazilian protests and demonstrations, this year and at the Confederations Cup last year, this was the first time that media facilities had been assailed.
However FIFA and the local organisers will come under critical fire over the failure to provide effective matchday security for media centres while its staff have insisted in enforcing the most petty rules and regulations.
Some journalists have been barred from carrying in water bottles which are not World Cup sponsor-labelled. A television reporter was forced to discard a coat-hanger on which he was carrying his shirt for on-air presentation.
The Ministry of Justice said later: “Fans aggressively invaded the FIFA Media Centre inside the Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro this Wednesday, 18 June, seeking access to the stadium where Spain and Chile were playing in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.
“Although internal stadium security is the responsibility of the stewards – private security officers hired by the Local Organization Committee (LOC) and FIFA – the Rio de Janeiro State Police intervened to contain the situation and have detained 85 fans. The competent authorities will now undertake the appropriate legal measures required to deal with the matter.”
Those ‘legal measures’ were made plain by the federal police.
In a statement of its own, the federal police said: “The 85 foreign citizens who invaded the FIFA Media Centre at Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, 18 June, will be notified to leave the country within a maximum of 72 hours.
“The sanction applied is grounded on Brazil’s Foreigner’s Statute (Estatuto do Estrangeiro). In case the notification is not fulfilled, the foreign citizens in question will be subject to summary deportation by the Federal Police.”
World federation FIFA condemned the invasion.
A statement said:”Ahead of the ESP-CHI match at the Maracanã, a group of individuals without tickets violently forced entry into the stadium.
“They broke fences & overran security before being contained by security. They did not make it to the seats.The situation was brought under control quickly & at least 85 intruders were detained by the military police of Rio.
“The organizers of the World Cup condemn these acts of violence. We’ll communicate further info & measures to be taken in due course.”
Explaining for formalities of the expulsions, a Federal Police statement said:
The notified Chilean fans have a maximum of 72 hours to leave Brazil. The fans include one minor who was also notified together with his father.
The data collected on these fans was entered into the Brazilian Federal Police’s immigration system (stating the reason for the action taken), and as a result these citizens will be inadmissible throughout national territory should they try to return to Brazil during the World Cup.
The notifications were recorded in the passports and entry tags of the Chilean fans. Any Brazilian public official who checks the documentation produced by the foreign fans involved in the incident will know exactly how long they can stay in Brazil. If any such official verifies that the established deadline has expired, he/she must refer the citizen(s) in question to the closest Brazilian Federal Police unit for summary deportation.
Due to international agreements established with these countries, Paraguayans, Argentines, Chileans and Uruguayans can enter Brazil producing only their identity cards. Upon entry into Brazil, those citizens receive a document called an ‘entry tag’ (tarjeta). The entry tag must be produced to Brazilian authorities during travel within the country and also proves both regular entry into Brazil and the length of stay.
For the citizens who presented their passport for entry into Brazil’s national territory (as was the case of two of the Chilean fans), this information is entered directly in the travel document.