World Cup chit-chat: Brazil deploys troops to secure borders for World Cup
Brazil began deploying 30,000 troops on Saturday to patrol its borders and beef up security for the World Cup soccer tournament that will kick off in 12 Brazilian cities next month, the Defense Ministry said.
The army, navy and air force troops will use river patrol boats, helicopters and planes to crack down on drug trafficking and other smuggling activities on Brazil’s 16,900-km (10,500-mile) frontier with 10 South American nations.
Much of the border is Amazon jungle that is hard to patrol and notoriously porous, allowing undocumented immigrants easy access to the country.
Host Brazil has invited the leaders of the 31 other nations that will compete in the World Cup to watch their teams play, which will add to security concerns. Brazilian authorities say the risk of a terrorist attack is low because Brazil has no enemies.
The Brazilian Air Force will enforce no-fly zones over the soccer stadiums during the 64 games that will be played between June 12 and July 13.
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Image: Brazilian Army soldiers stand at Fort Copacabana while visitors pose for a photo
Photographs: Mario Tama/Getty Images
Rivelino, 68, scores own goal in pre-World Cup exhibition
Former Brazil great Rivelino struck a bizarre first goal at the new Corinthians stadium on Saturday, putting through his own net after taking a penalty against his team in a light-hearted exhibition match.
Many of the fans among the 20,000 crowd - less than a third of the capacity that will be in place at the World Cup venue next month – called on the 68-year-old to take the spot kick and he was happy to oblige.
About 100 former and current Corinthians players took part in a series of short, good-humoured friendlies at the Arena Corinthians, the stadium that will host the opening match of the World Cup between hosts Brazil and Croatia on June 12.
The first official match at the ground will take place next weekend when Corinthians face Figueirense in the Brazilian league.
The venue is one of three still unfinished with the World Cup opener just 33 days away. The finals have been beset by delays and bad planning.
Image: Rivelino,left, former soccer player from the Corinthians team celebrates with Dunga, former national head coach
Photographs: Paulo Whitaker/Reuters