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Football: Australia concern at World Cup security

13 november 2013, 10:03
©Reuters/Ricardo Moraes
©Reuters/Ricardo Moraes
Australian football officials on Tuesday expressed concern at the security situation in World Cup host nation Brazil, admitting that dealing with the issue was going to be a challenge, AFP reports.

Fears over Brazil's ability to host a trouble-free World Cup next June intensified last week when the Soccerex global football convention in Rio was cancelled after a government decision to withdraw support amid ongoing civil unrest.

The decision came after fresh protests in Rio and Sao Paulo, which over recent months have seen dozens of demonstrations against government corruption and the multi-billion dollar cost of staging the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop admitted the governing body had concerns over security, with plans already under way to ensure team safety at the month-long tournament.

"There clearly are some concerns and that's why we've already retained local people to help us plan for that," he told Australian Associated Press.

"We're already well advanced with our planning around the tournament. We've engaged local people in Brazil as well as our own staff who've been through World Cups before.

"It's certainly going to throw up some challenges and we need to make sure that things are run as smoothly from our end as possible."

The Socceroos recently experienced the protests first hand when they played Brazil in Brasilia in September.

Police were forced to fire tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse dozens of people outside the Mane Garrincha stadium less than an hour before the match while a heavy police presence surrounded the venue and helicopters circled overhead.

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