Gun row a warning for Brazil World Cup: Blatter

Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:13am EST
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By Alastair Himmer

TOKYO (Reuters) - The abandonment of last Wednesday's Copa Sudamericana final following shocking accusations police had pulled guns on players should serve as a warning for Brazil's World Cup organizers, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Saturday.

Argentina's Tigre refused to emerge for the second half after claims of police brutality, leaving Sao Paulo to pick up the trophy and heightening concerns over security for 2014.

The incident came moments after a brawl involving players and officials as the two teams left the pitch at halftime of the second-leg match.

"In football there are so many emotions and so much passion sometimes football cannot be controlled," Blatter told reporters in Tokyo after FIFA's executive committee meeting.

"But (after) such an incident, I have to say it also a warning for the organizers of the World Cup," he added 18 months before the tournament. "It's a warning for all organizers what can happen."

Accusations that a police officer had poked a revolver into the chest of goalkeeper Damian Albil was the latest in a series of controversies involving Brazilian police at matches.

Blatter said the responsibility for security at the World Cup lay with the organizers and local authorities and not with FIFA.

"Security is not a matter of the sports organization," he said before Sunday's Club World Cup final between Chelsea and Brazil's Corinthians in Yokohama.   Continued...

FIFA President Sepp Blatter attends a news conference following their executive committee meeting in Tokyo December 15, 2012. REUTERS/Toru Hanai