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Violence in Brazilian league game throws doubts over World Cup safety

Violence broke out between fans in a game involving Vasco da Gama and Atletico Paranaense…

The Brazilian domestic season came to an end on Sunday evening. Unfortunately it was marred by terrible scenes involving an awful brawl between Vasco da Gama and Atletico Paranaense fans.

It was a huge game for Vasco da Gama, as they faced the possibility of relegation. Tensions obviously boiled over in the stands, and the game had to be stopped for over an hour to sort the situation out. Fans were viciously beaten with some even being seen kicked in the head whilst unconscious. The whole ordeal was seen live on Brazilian TV and an Atletico Paranaense player was left in tears at the situation.

Vasco da Gama ended up losing the game 5-1 and they were relegated to the second tier of Brazilian football. But that certainly took a back foot following the distressing scenes. Eventually a helicopter had to land on the pitch in order to take an injured man to hospital. Reports suggest that there were no police inside the stadium. After a considerable time riot police were called in and they had to fire rubber pellets to try and stop the fighting.

Events like this ask huge questions over the safety of fans travelling to the World Cup next summer. Last week we heard that most if not all of the stadiums are behind schedule, and these events yesterday have now thrown further doubts over Brazil's ability to host a World Cup. Scenes like this are sure to put off a lot of people from travelling to South America. A trip to the World Cup should be one of the greatest trips of a lifetime, and it is an event you expect to be safe, and well policed etc.

The Brazilian footballing authorities will have to prove to FIFA that fans will be safe and there will be the correct measures in place to ensure anything like this does not happen again. It begs the question how did Brazil actually win the race to host the competition? Yes they have a fantastic footballing history, and the country is very passionate about the sport. But the logistics of hosting the competition seem to be very poor. Hopefully everything runs smoothly come June, but major questions are being asked already.

The next World Cup will be in Russia; a country well known for their racist and homophobic chanting. Again, wasn't this a major thing for FIFA to consider when handing them the chance to host it? In 2022 we will see the World Cup in Qatar and as yet we are still unsure whether it will be held in winter or summer time. World Cup controversies could be the headline news for the next decade. FIFA seem to have shot themselves in the foot with these choices.

image: © jonnyr1

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