June 23, 2014 08:09
Authorities in Brazil have beefed up security around stadiums where World Cup matches are being played following incidents in several Brazilian cities.
The new security measures were announced Friday after some participants in an otherwise peaceful group of 1,300 demonstrators vandalized banks and cars in São Paulo Thursday.
It was the latest of almost daily protests in various Brazilian cities since the World Cup tournament began last week. The demonstrations have drawn a few dozen to a few hundred protesters, far less than in the months before the tournament began.
Security at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium was also tightened after 90 ticketless fans broke through barriers during the match between Chile and Spain Wednesday night.
The fans ran through the international media center causing considerable damage. More than 80 were detained and ordered to leave Brazil within 72 hours.
FIFA Security Director Ralph Mutschke said security was being heightened around all stadiums following meetings with Brazilian authorities.
"FIFA is trying to work with the [Local Organizing Committee] and Brazilian authorities [and] security authorities in order to improve the standards, and in order to improve so that this will not happen again."
Security officials are particularly worried about stadiums where teams from neighboring countries are playing in upcoming matches. These games have attracted tens of thousands of supporters, many of whom were not able to buy tickets.
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