Brazil to step up security after World Cup venue riot

BRASILIA (AFP) - Brazil sought to reassure soccer fans on Saturday after rioting erupted the night before at a 2014 World Cup venue among fans angry over waiting in line for tickets to a sold-out match.

The government's World Cup website said more than a thousand police would be deployed to the Fonte Nova stadium in the north-eastern city of Salvador for the April 7 match between popular local teams Bahia and Vitoria.

On Friday, police fired tear gas after rioting broke out when thousands of fans who had camped out in line for hours were told that tickets had been sold out, local media reported.

In addition to the police reinforcements, the government will deploy 300 troops and 700 guides, and set up 200 cameras, to insure there is no repeat of the violence, the government website said.

The Fonte Nova stadium is to host three matches in the Confederations Cup in June and six matches in next year's World Cup.

The violence has added to concerns over Brazil's preparations to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 summer Olympic Games. Earlier this week, the authorities closed a Rio de Janeiro stadium indefinitely because of roof problems. The stadium had been slated to host the track and field competition in the Olympics.

Rio's iconic Maracana stadium, which hosted the final of the 1950 World Cup, is undergoing a makeover amid concern that reconstruction is falling behind schedule.

Earlier this month, Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke said "there is no plan B" in case the Maracana or any of the other five venues for the Confederations Cup are not ready in time.

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