World Cup se­cu­rity hic­cups


Just when the FIFA World Cup in Brazil seemed to be go­ing on smoothly, there were three se­cu­rity breaches that gave or­gan­is­ers some of their most em­bar­rass­ing mo­ments yet. An­dressa Urach, a for­mer beauty con­tes­tant, was frog-marched out of Por­tu­gal’s train­ing ground by se­cu­rity staff just min­utes be­fore Ron­aldo and his team took to the pitch. Bri­tish news­pa­pers last year re­ported claims from her that Ron­aldo, 29, had cheated on his girl­friend Irina Shayk with her. At the time, the Por­tuguese su­per­star an­grily de­nied the claims, tweet­ing that he was “deeply out­raged by a sit­u­a­tion in­tended, in vain, to af­fect my per­sonal life.”

Soon af­ter Urach’s ejec­tion came news that Brazil­ian se­cu­rity ser­vices had de­tained a man who sneaked into Ar­gentina’s train­ing camp in Belo Hor­i­zonte to seek star striker Messi’s au­to­graph. The 33-year-old Brazil­ian, who had re­ceived a T-shirt from Messi last week af­ter clean­ing his boots, was seen cry­ing as he was led away. He told po­lice he just wanted to get the shirt signed.

Or­gan­is­ers’ se­cu­rity woes only got worse when scores of tick­et­less Chilean fans gate­crashed Rio de Janeiro’s Mara­cana Sta­dium, break­ing through fences in a des­per­ate rush to see their team play Spain. The fans, many wear­ing Chile’s red jersey, shat­tered a glass door at the me­dia cen­tre, broke fences and par­ti­tion walls, and swarmed into in­ter­nal cor­ri­dors be­fore se­cu­rity guards stopped them. Brazil­ian au­thor­i­ties ar­rested 85 people and or­dered them to leave the coun­try.

FIFA said none of the in­trud­ers had made it into the stands to see their team’s stun­ning 2-0 vic­tory, which put Chile into the sec­ond round and sent de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Spain pack­ing. But a se­cu­rity guard said some had found their way into the stands. The in­ci­dent took place de­spite the pres­ence of 1,500 se­cu­rity staff at the sta­dium, plus about 5,000 po­lice on duty in the sur­round­ing area. Af­ter­wards FIFA said it would soon an­nounce new se­cu­rity mea­sures.

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