Security Advisory: World CupJune 29, 2014 in 2014 FIFA World Cup - Security Update
Brazil scraped through by the skin of their teeth… without biting! From a fan security point of view, this is probably a positive outcome as the longer Brazil stays in the less likely they are to start trouble protesting. I’d rather see the population glued to the screen than getting into fights on the street with visiting fans who goad them on if or when they lose.
Today’s games are in Fortaleza (31C, clear) and Recife (28C, drizzle and could get heavier). Heavy weather in Recife has proven a problem prior to recent matches when a 40min trip to the stadium has taken 4hrs. Neither city has seen any serious problems with fan security at games or at fan fests.
Security Update: Fifa World CupJune 28, 2014 in 2014 FIFA World Cup - Security Update
The first day of the elimination rounds and it’s an all South-American affair for today. With enthusiasm and fanaticism reaching new levels, expect to see an increased security presence to ensure fan safety, prevent overcrowding and stop crowds forcing entry into the stadium.
This evening’s matches are in Rio (30C, 94% Humidity, clear) and Belo Horizonte (26C, 77%H, clear), Brazil’s 2nd and 3rd largest cities respectively. Both cities are known for violence in the less affluent neighbourhoods and have both seen large protests against the World Cup Finals. Noting this, both cities have hosted four matches each without major incidents. Occasional reporting of pickpockets and muggings continue but these are most often reported by tourists who stray from the ‘beaten path’ and find themselves isolated, away from the security of others, and without escape route. Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket; ensure you have some money to hand over in the instance of being mugged as well as money elsewhere to draw upon in emergency. Know where you are staying and have it written down so you can show a cab driver. If you have a mobile with maps, download the maps before leaving, using wifi, and follow along the route so you know you’re not being ripped off (you can your data stream off and this will still work).
Security Advisory: FIFA World CupJune 27, 2014 in 2014 FIFA World Cup - Security Update
The group stage is over and we’re into the knockout stages following today’s rest day. The tournament has now finished in four locations: Cuiaba, Curitiba, Manaus, and Natal but I’m sure the party will continue in full force despite the lack of visiting teams.
With regard to the potential violence of South American fans I mentioned yesterday, an Argentine fan was shot in the leg during a dispute in Porto Alegre (the closest host city to the Argentine border). Brazil previously had a ban on selling alcohol in stadia due to violent fans, this law was rescinded as a FIFA stipulation for hosting the tournament, indicating that there is a propensity for drunken violence at these matches. When it comes to international rivalry, things may get even worse. I’m not forecasting the apocalypse however, be aware of your surroundings and don’t get baited into an argument with rowdy fans from another country.
The heavy weather in North of Brazil proved too much for many fans. There were an unfortunate number of empty seats for kick off due to the widespread flooding and impassable streets. One report stated a 40min drive took 4hrs! This had been a serious concern for matches in both Recife and Natal however the storm has been weathered and there is only one match to go in Recife on Sunday but the forecast is for rain. Just be ready with an alternative route in mind and leave plenty of time to get to the game, this has to take into account both the transit time and the large security queues that could be even longer when have the staff can’t make it for similar reasons. Be aware of your valuables in these instances, tropical rain isn’t a misty shower like NYC or London; you will be drenched to the core in a matter of minutes so be prepared to get very wet, very quickly, while keeping your phone, money, and tickets dry.
Security Advisory: Fifa World CupJune 26, 2014 in 2014 FIFA World Cup - Security Update
Last day of the group stages and the big news at the moment is the torrential rain in Recife for the big USA vs Germany match scheduled for this evening. If it keeps falling at the current rate, the match maybe cancelled. Equally important is the difficulty some fans are having at getting to the match. Get moving early if you want to get in and see the game, if it happens….
With the qualifications almost set the concern now is the future games between neighbouring South American countries. These have a higher likelihood of getting rowdy, even violent. As we saw in the Argentina match yesterday, they didn’t mind taunting the Brazilians in the stadium and they will be likely to carry on outside the stadium as well. Of particular note are Brazil vs Chile, and Colombia vs Uruguay both on Saturday. Hopefully this concern proves unfounded but it would be foolish not to be aware of the possibility.
Today’s matches are in Brasilia (28C, 53% Humidity, Clear), Sao Paulo (29C, 56% H, Clear), Recife (28C, 100%H, heavy rain trailing off towards the end of game time), Curitiba (22C, 83%H, foggy, clearing later).
Security Advisory: Fifa World CupJune 25, 2014 in 2014 FIFA World Cup - Security Update
We’re down to the last two days of the group stages and all is going swimmingly. No incidents reported amongst fans however the Italian contingent has complained about Uruguayan propensity for biting in the box. When all else fails…
A sit-in, or rather a live-in, protest was set up last night in front of the local government buildings in Sao Paulo. Protestors will continue to try and capitalise on the media presence during the tournament. As we progress towards the elimination rounds, expect attempts at protest to increase and this to be reciprocated with efforts of suppression by the security services.
Today’s games are in Porto Alegre (20C, 100% Humidity, heavy rain early clearing towards game time), Salvador (27C, 94%H, slight chance of early rain clearing in the afternoon), Manaus (30C, 89%H, slight chance of rain), and Rio (30C, 94%H, clear). The Maracana in Rio de Janeiro had fan incursions in the first two games and none during the Belgium vs Russia game. Although this may have been down to a lack of enthusiasm on behalf of those fans, I suspect it has more to do with enhanced security presence following the embarrassment of the first two matches.
As we near the end of the group stages, fans who don’t have tickets to later matches may be tempted to try pitch invasions or incursions into venues; do not be tempted by such stupidity. It will only get you arrested and deported. Deportation may be a badge of honour when it’s done on a political basis but it will be a huge embarrassment when done for criminal reasons.