Brazil 2014 ups World Cup security budget to combat crime wave
Thursday, 06 December 2012
December 6 - Blighted by an alarming crime rate, Brazil is boosting its 2014 FIFA World Cup security budget to 1.879 billion Brazilian real (£562 million/$903 million/€696 million) to make sure the event is "one of the most protected sports events in history," the Government has announced.
The country plans to have one police officer for every 50 people attending matches, and one for every 80 at other public viewing venues around the country.
"The Government has made a programme to compile the measures needed for everyone's security," said Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo.
"This is an item that we face with much importance."
As well as being worried about infrastructure being behind schedule ahead of staging its first World Cup since 1950, FIFA has consistently expressed concern about Brazil's burgeoning crime rate, particularly in the sprawling areas of São Paulo.
"We are seeing a big wave of crime in São Paulo, which is not good for its image or tourism," FIFA general secretary Jérôme Valcke said last month.
However, Brazil 2014 said the issue will be addressed to cope with thousands of fans pouring into the country for the World Cup.
"Security has become an ever-increasing issue for major sporting events in the past decade," the Organising Committee said in a statement.
"This has increased the level of information exchange between countries that have recently hosted events to ensure public safety."
At the last World Cup in South Africa in 2010, the Government invested 640 million rand (£45 million/$73 million/€57 million) to deploy 31,000 police officials during the tournament and set aside a total security budget of 1.3 billion rand (£92 million/$1.5 billion/€1.1 billion).