Rio de Janeiro and Brazil will host the largest security operation for a single event in history during the final match of the World Cup this Sunday (13 July) at the Maracanã Stadium. According to Rio de Janeiro's Secretary of Public Safety, José Mariano Beltrame, the several security forces involved will deploy a total of 25,787 agents to ensure everything transpires smoothly as Germany and Argentina duel for the title of FIFA World Cup Champion.
Security will be enhanced not only on the stage of the match but also in other areas with high fan presence, such as the FIFA Fan Fest in Copacabana beach, the Lapa bohemian neighborhood, the Guanabara Palace (where all the Heads of State and Government visiting Rio for the final will meet before the match), the Terreirão do Samba and Sambadrome (both camping sites for Argentine fans) and even Búzios, a neighbouring city from the Lakes region with a high concentration of Argentine citizens.
“Rio de Janeiro will have the largest safety operation the country has ever seen. The responsibility to ensure that no problems occur is immense, and so far the safety operation has been a success," said Beltrame during a press conference held this Friday (11 July) in Rio's Integrated Command and Control Center (ICCC).
Blockade in Maracanã surroundings
Of the 25,787 agents deployed for the World Cup final operation, 14,984 are Rio state police officers. They will be in charge of the blockades in the roads surrounding the stadium, which begin at 11 PM on the day before the match (12 July). After that time, anyone who is not a resident or a professional accredited to work in the event will not be able to circulate in the region until a few hours after the end of the match on Sunday. There will also be restrictions to people disembarking at the Maracanã stations of the subway and train systems.
“The concern is to prevent people who have nothing to do with the match from 'gravitating' near the Maracanã early on as an attempt to detect any vulnerabilities. This was done in the Confederations Cup, and will be done again in the World Cup final," said the Secretary.
Beltrame stressed that the operation follows a safety and security plan prepared a long time ago, before the beginning of the competition, with some adjustments due to assessments made by all safety forces involved - including intelligence units - throughout the World Cup. “Our commitment is to the event occurring in the best possible way. When adjustments are necessary, they are made. This is why we have been here at the Integrated Command and Control Center. We have made the plan to ensure the event flows naturally.”
Armed Forces personnel constitute the second largest deployment for the operation, with about 9,300 officers. The number is justified by the need to ensure the safety of all Heads of State and Government who will attend the match. The final number of such authorities who will be in the country for the match is not yet known, but it is necessary to ensure there will be escorts and scouts for all the dignitaries in accordance with international protocols. According to Admiral Paul Zuccaro, chief of the Joint Staff of the Air Defense Center, 25 Navy vessels will be employed in the operation.
Andrei Rodrigues, Special Secretary of Safety and Security for Major Events of the Brazilian Ministry of Justice, stated that Brazilian security forces have been working together with Argentine police since before the World Cup to identify any supporters banned from attending sporting events in their own country.
Argentina submitted a list with the names of about 1,500 such fans, and 266 foreigners have already been prevented from entering Brazil. Others were found in Brazilian territory, arrested and immediately deported. Rodrigues ensured that any more of the so called "barra bravas" who are identified in the country will suffer the same penalty.
Safety operation numbers
9,300 agents from the Brazilian Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force)
1,000 Federal Police officers
800 Federal Highway Police officers
800 officers of the National Public Safety Force
14,984 state police officers
505 civilian police officers
1,032 municipal guards
600 traffic inspectors
1,600 stewards (inside the stadium)