By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Security for this year’s FIFA World Cup will count on 10,000 members of the National Force, it was revealed yesterday. The issue of safety has been a huge one since nationwide protests took center stage during the Confederations Cup last June.
The National Force was created in 2004 and is designed to be available to aid in national and public security issues if and when requested. During the World Cup the body will work in tandem with the Secretaria Extraordinária de Segurança para Grandes Eventos (SESGE).
The force will be spread across the twelve host cities in a bid to leave those visiting stadiums as safe as possible. They have already participated in major events in Brazil, including the World Cup group stage draw last month, World Youth Day and the 2007 Pan-American games.
The group is trained to deal with a wide variety of issues, ranging from natural disasters to civil disturbance. National secretary Regina Miki confirmed their participation will not be heavy handed, and they will only act when called upon.
Miki wanted to make it clear they were simply a contingency force rather than the controlling responsibility for fan safety during the World Cup. “We will only act when each organ requests our assistance. We are here to support local and federal police,” she said.
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