Violence claims are warning: Blatter

AFP-JIJI

The claims of violence which forced the South America Cup final in Sao Paulo to be abandoned is a “warning” to the organizers of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Saturday.

Argentine team Tigre refused to emerge for the second half against their Brazilian hosts, later alleging that armed police had barged into their dressing room, beaten the players with batons and threatened the goalkeeper with a gun.

“Such an incident I have to say is a warning for the organizers of the World Cup,” Blatter told a news conference in Tokyo.

“It is a warning to all organizers (about) what can happen,” he added, a day after the FIFA Executive Committee’s final meeting of the year.

The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) is investigating the claims by Tigre players of police brutality, which were denied by a Brazilian military police commander who said that some of his “unarmed” men were wounded.

The astonishing accounts came two weeks after the draw was held in Sao Paulo for June’s 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil, and only 18 months before the World Cup is due to kick off.

Blatter said soccer organizations could give guidelines on safety in stadia but that security “is definitely a matter for the police or the army”.

“It is a pity if you cannot play the second half of a match for any reasons, but it can happen in football,” Blatter said.