Colombian officials will be enforcing strict security measures for the upcoming Colombia – Brazil quarter final World Cup match on July 4, Colombian media reported on Wednesday.
For Friday’s Colombia – Brazil game there will be an increased police presence in Bogota, with an extra 1,600 uniformed officers patrolling the critical areas of Colombia’s capital where violence is most likely to occur, reported Caracol Radio.
There will also be a complete ban on liquor sales from 10AM until 10PM Friday in Bogota, a less severe measure than the nearly 24-hour alcohol bans enforced during Colombia’s previous World Cup games, according to Colombia’s La Semana news magazine.
The alcohol bans were put in place following at least 9 soccer-related fatalities and 3,000 reported brawls in Bogota after Colombia’s 3-0 victory against Greece on June 14.
Bogota officials have even banned the use of flour and foam, a popular form of celebration, due to their annoying potential of inciting outbreaks of violence as they can be very messy.
Security measures throughout Colombia
Several mayors in the state of Santander have agreed to reinstate security measures for the upcoming game that were put in place for recent Colombia games in the World Cup, reported local newspaper Vanguardia.
The measures in Santander for Friday’s game include:
- An alcohol ban between 6AM and 7PM.
- Motorcyclists are prohibited from carrying passengers between 1PM and midnight. Anyone caught violating this law will be fined $165.
- No throwing of flour, foam, confetti, or anything likely to cause public disorder.
Cali mayor proposes public holiday for game day
In addition to an alcohol ban and motorcycle passenger restrictions, Cali Mayor Rodrigo Guerrero has proposed a public holiday for Cali’s citizens ahead of Friday’s big game. Schools and workers in the public sector will work from 7AM until 1PM, after which they will be given the rest of the afternoon to watch the game, reported El Pais.
Councilman asks President Santos to impose alcohol ban on entire country
Bogota councilman, Orlando Santiesteban Millan, has written to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to request that the government imposes a “dry law” (alcohol ban) throughout the country during the Colombia – Brazil game, reported local newspaper El Espectador.
In the letter, Santiesteban argued that many of the “regretful brawls and deaths” following the Colombian team’s victories in the World Cup, were caused by “excessive consumption of alcohol, flour throwing, and passengers on motorbikes,” according to El Espectador.
Soccer-related hooliganism has declined in Colombia since “Los Cafeteros” won their first match against Greece, with an 80% decrease in reported fights and no fatalities following the Colombia 4-1 win against Japan on June 24, according to the Colombian Ministry of the Interior.
However, following Saturday’s Colombia-Uruguay game in which Colombia qualified for the quarter finals with a 2-0 victory, Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro claimed that eight people died in hospitals amidst the celebrations.
Es muy malo balance de celebración del partido ayer en Bogotá. En breve se expedirá comunicado de datos. En hospitales murieron 8 personas— Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) June 29, 2014
An historic moment for Colombia
July 4 will be an historic day for Colombia, as never before has the South American nation reached a World Cup quarter final.
- Estas son las medidas de seguridad para el partido del viernes (Semana)
- Medidas en Bogotá por partido Colombia – Brasil (Caracol Radio)
- Alcaldes del área ratifican medidas por partido de Colombia (Vanguardia)
- Concejal pide a Santos decretar ley seca en todo el país el próximo viernes (El Espectador)
- Por partido de Colombia, Alcaldía de Cali propone Día Cívico para el próximo viernes (El Pais)
- 80% Menos Riñas Y Cero Muertes Violentas Durante La Celebración Del Tercer Triunfo De La Selección Colombia (Interior Ministry)