Football: No beer, no drums and no banners when Chile host Copa America in June

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - In a bid to keep South America's notorious hooligans away from football stadiums, Chile is implementing strict rules that fans complain will take the fizz out of proceedings at the Copa America in June.

This year's tournament, to be hosted by Chile, is the region's biggest football showcase and fans are looking forward to seeing players like Argentina's Lionel Messi and Brazil's Neymar.

Games featuring South American teams are renowned for their colour and noise.

But some elements of that atmosphere can undermine security, said Jose Roa, head of the Chilean government's Safe Stadium Plan.

"Our aim is to create a framework so the football community can enjoy a safe party, and exclude from the stadiums those who have set themselves apart from the football community," he added.

Drums could block exits and will not be allowed in to Copa games.

Nor will fireworks, flares or banners.

The security crackdown has upset fans. One local Facebook group with 17,000 likes said: "Drums and banners do not generate violence... we are fans, not criminals!"

Roa said Chile was working with other competing nations and would use ID checks to prevent known trouble-makers from entering stadiums.

He also ruled out the sale of alcohol which is not allowed at matches in Chile.

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