With 10 months to go to the Confederations Cup and as the countdown starts to the 2014 World Cup, Brazilian officials said on Monday that they would not tolerate fan violence.
The country is setting up a specialist police investigation center to deal with cases of hooliganism, Rio State Secretary for Security Affairs Jose Mariano Beltrame told reporters, adding it would be based in the swish suburb of Leblon.
The news came on the heels of several outbreaks of fan violence at club level, with 21 fans of Fluminense arrested on Sunday for attacking two fans of Vasco da Gama.
“We can no longer tolerate violence ... this is not an example of [the image] we wish to project at the World Cup. We must act with rigor,” Marta Rocha of the civil police authority told the O Dia daily.
The mother of one of those arrested told reporters: “I am ashamed of my son.”
Police lieutenant colonel Joao Fiorentini said that the 21 had been thrown in the cells as “quite apart from the assault, there was theft and that is why they have been locked up. We are tightening the noose.”
Leaders of the Young Flu supporters club said those responsible faced being thrown out.
Last week, a Vasco fan, Diego Leal, was killed by thugs supporting Flamengo and in April a Flamengo fan, Bruno Saturnino, was beaten to death by rivals from Vasco.
Also last week, the civil police authority asked the judicial prosecutor general’s office to ban Flamengo fans from stadiums in Rio de Janeiro.