Fans warned about safety ahead of Brazil World Cup opener
PR dla Zagranicy
Before the FIFA World Cup opening match between Brazil and Croatia, Thursday, Poland's foreign ministry has advised Polish fans to stay away from demonstrations and keep to tourists areas.
Brazilian fans wear colorful costumes as they gather outside the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 11 June 2014. The FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil will take place from 12 June to 13 July 2014. EPA/DIEGO AZUBEL
Thousands of extra police and soldiers will be deployed to ensure the month-long series of matches get under way smoothly, fearing a repeat of large demonstrations last year against the mounting costs of hosting the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The world footballing governing body FIFA says it has sold 2.9 million tickets for the 64 matches, beginning in Sao Paulo tonight, and the Foreign Ministry has warned Polish tourists in Brazil for the finals – which Poland did not qualify for – to take precautions in a country where petty crime is rife.
“In large cities, especially in Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and Sao Paulo, demonstrations and strikes are likely, which can cause serious problems and paralysis of transport,” a statement on the Polish Embassy in Brazil web site says.
“During theses types of events, local police may use tear gas. To minimize potential risks (robbery and theft) we do not recommend moving away from city centres and main tourist points, especially at night,” the statement says.
Brazilian police patrol the streets in the vicinity of the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 11 June 2014. The FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil will take place from 12 June to 13 July 2014: photo - EPA/DIEGO AZUBEL
A capacity 65,000 crowd is expected for the opening match between the hosts and Croatia, with fans journey made easier after metro workers voted not to resume a strike over pay and the dismissal of 42 colleagues in Sao Paulo.
However, airport workers in Brazil's second largest city Rio de Janeiro announcing a 24-hour strike starting at midnight on Wednesday. (pg)