FIFA Confident About World Cup Safety

FIFA Confident About World Cup SafetyFIFA Confident About World Cup Safety

FIFA said on Friday it had every confidence in its security measures at the upcoming World Cup in Russia after hooliganism in the host nation came under fresh scrutiny following violent incidents involving Spartak Moscow supporters on Thursday in which a policeman died of a heart attack.

The officer died in hospital in the northern Spanish city of Bilbao. He had been taken there when the regional police force was trying to stop street battles between supporters of Spartak and Athletic before their Europa League last 32, second leg match at the San Mames stadium, Reuters reported.

Nine people were arrested following the clashes. Spanish newspaper El Mundo said two Russian ultras were taken to hospital with injuries, one with stab wounds.

The World Cup begins on June 14 in Russia and local authorities are putting strict security procedures in place to control hooligans, including Russian fans who caused trouble at the 2016 European Championship in France and other soccer events.

“As far as the World Cup security is concerned, we fully trust the security mechanisms and complex security concept worked out by the Russian authorities and the local organizing committee,” FIFA said in a statement cited by Russian newspaper Sport Express.

Josu Zubiaga, vice-chairman of security for the Basque government told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser that the policeman, Inocencio Alonso, 51, had not died as a result of violent contact.

Roberto Seijo, from the Basque police force, however, described the death as a direct result of the violence. “The death of our colleague did not take place while sitting in an armchair but as the consequence of these incidents,” he said, quoted in El Mundo.

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