FIFA and Brazilian government officials claim that the recent fan battles at the Atletico Paranaense-Vasco da Gama match on Sunday are not an indication of what hundreds of thousands of soccer fans from around the world can expect when they descend upon the South American country next summer for the World Cup. Even so, the shocking fan violence in Brazil’s soccer stadiums in the past year makes for a poor advertisement for the beautiful game’s biggest spectacle. According to Reuters, 30 people have been killed in incidents in and around the World Cup host’s stadiums in 2013.
The game on Sunday, which had to be halted for 70 minutes, made headlines around the world, as fans chased each other around terraces, hitting each other with clubs and homemade weapons. There were no police inside the Arena Joinville, as the home team had opted for private security guards instead.
"I can assure you the lamentable scenes we saw yesterday will not be seen at the World Cup," said Andrei Rodrigues, the special secretary of major events at the Justice Ministry. "We can assure you that the stadiums at the World Cup will have at least 200 camera feeds providing real time video and what happened yesterday cannot happen at the World Cup."
In a statement, FIFA said: "For the 2014 FIFA World Cup a very comprehensive security concept is in place in an integrated operation between private and public security authorities to ensure the safety for fans, players and any other stakeholder involved in the event."