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SPORTS | 10-06-2019 10:22

Brazil, Argentina agree plan to block 5,000 hooligans from Copa América

Agreement signed by Security Minister Patricia Bullrich and her Brazilian counterpart, Sergio Moro, will block entry of barrabrava into nation ahead of tournament.

Authorities in Brazil and Argentina have drawn up plans to prevent some 5,000 local hooligans, otherwise known as the barrabravas, from attending the Copa América in Brazil, which kicks off this Friday.

Security Ministry officials from the two nations announced the plan on Friday, calling it a "very important step forward" that would ensure safety in Brazil.

The agreement was signed by Security Minister Patricia Bullrich and her Brazilian counterpart, Sergio Moro.

"It is a very important step forward, the possibility of signing this agreement and delivering this list [with 5,000 names on it]," Bullrich said at a press conference with Moro on Friday, set against the backdrop of President Jair Bolsonaro's visit to Buenos Aires

Additional talks have been held between Justice Minister Moro and officials from Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, as well as the president of CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation), Alejandro Domínguez, as Brazil seeks to ensure the tournament is not overshadowed by violence.

Dominguez hailed f the bilateral agreement and said nations needed to work "together" to eradicate violence at sporting events.

The CONMEBOL chief insisted that "football is passion, fun, fanaticism – but football also transmits good values ​​and is not associated with or should be associated with criminal organisations or the misfits".

"Argentina and Brazil seek to ensure that the show will unfold without incident," declared Moro.

The chosen figure of 5,000 'barrabravas' refers to a list of fans that are already banned from entering stadiums in Argentina, where away fans have been prohibited from attending games in a bid to tackle violence.

Moro and Bullrich said that if fans do manage to pass through border-control checks, shared information will ensure the hooligans will be blocked from entering stadiums. 

"The mechanisms are not necessarily perfect, but Brazil, in cooperation with Argentina, will do everything possible to prevent the entry of these people into Brazilian territory," declared Moro.

The Copa América runs from June 14 to July 7.

- AFP

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