Security issues at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ provided one of the key items on the agenda at the National Teams Workshop in Florianopolis, which came to a conclusion on Thursday. The results of the workshop and the action plans presented to the 32 national associations taking part were discussed at the press conference that followed the three-day gathering. FIFA.com reveals what was said.

FIFA Director of Security Ralf Mutschke
“The collaboration of a number of government bodies and agencies is essential in achieving the highest security standards. And this is what FIFA has achieved with the LOC and its various stakeholders.

The national teams have asked us an awful lot of questions at this workshop and we believe that we have answered most of them in a highly satisfactory way. This is what we are focusing on, in addition to ensuring that everything that happens in football is above board. FIFA has adopted a policy of zero tolerance to match fixing and has entered into partnerships with a number of organisations such as Interpol with a view to educating people and preventing match fixing, including at the FIFA World Cup.

We saw some social unrest and vandalism at the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2013, but that does not mean to say that we are going to reduce our presence, hide ourselves away or keep our symbols under cover. We do not feel, in fact, that we are the main target of the demonstrators. Obviously the protests had something to do with the Confederations Cup and the fact that Brazil and the whole world was watching the competition. We don’t feel that we are the targets, though. Far from it. We are proud to be here in Brazil.”  

Hilario Medeiros, Head of Security of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Organising Committee (LOC) 
“We introduced the stakeholders and the security policies that will be adopted, and they were well received by the 32 national associations. It is very clear that Brazil is ready in terms of its various organisations and private security, with some 20,000 men being trained in event security."

Andrei Rodrigues, of the Brazilian Ministry of Justice’s Special Secretariat for Security at Major Events (SESGE)
“The key word when it comes to public security at the World Cup is integration. That means integration between the Chief of Staff ministry, the ministries of Justice and Defence, the LOC and FIFA, the State Security Office (GSI), the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN) and the integrated security coordination committees. In total 150,000 public-security and armed-forces professionals will be involved, with SESGE investing BRL1.17b and the Ministry of Defence some BRL708m. It should be pointed out that these are resources deployed solely for the purposes of providing security to the population on an everyday basis. This is a legacy that can be seen before the event even takes place, with equipment and knowledge being used by Brazilian states as part of specific plans.

There are two types of legacy here. There is the material legacy, namely the equipment, and then there is the intangible legacy, which I consider to be the more important of the two and which is the ability of different agencies and federal, state and local government to integrate their actions. This second legacy has been seen over these last few days in Florianopolis and will remain in place as knowledge that can be applied in the future.

We do have one major concern, which is not the fact that people might demonstrate, as they are just exercising their democratic right in doing so. Our concern is with any violence that occurs as part of those demonstrations. The Confederations Cup was an example of that. There was one day in June when there were more than one million people on the streets and we had more than 50,000 officers working. Even so, the competition schedule was not affected, the demonstrations did not impact on the delegations and there were no injuries caused by the actions of the officers.”

General Jamil Megid Junior, the Brazilian Ministry of Defence’s Major Events Coordinator
“In fulfilling its obligations, the Ministry of Defence is focusing on three areas in particular: the protection of strategic facilities, contingency and prevention plans and anti-terrorism measures. We are setting up 12 regional commands that will operate in the Host Cities and at the National Team Training Centres. All of them will be in contact with the Ministry of Defence’s Permanent Operations Centre in Brasilia, which is already working on the World Cup as its main objective. In April and May we will be getting our forces ready, in line with the timetable we have been following for more than two years now. It was very pleasing to see how well the security chiefs of the 32 teams understood our system and to hear them express their confidence in our preparations for welcoming them in June and July.”