Blatter says incident in Brazil a warning for 2014

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Associated Press

Posted on December 15, 2012 at 1:04 AM

TOKYO (AP) — FIFA president Sepp Blatter said accusations security officials pulled guns and beat players at the final of the Copa Sudamericana in Brazil is a warning to organizers as the country prepares to host the 2014 World Cup.

"Such an incident that has just happened is a warning for organizers of the World Cup of what can happen," said Blatter, who is in Japan for Sunday's final of the Club World Cup. "But security is not a matter of the sports organization but of the authorities be it the police or the army. We can provide guidelines but finally it is up to the authorities."

Sao Paulo was awarded the title when Tigre refused to take the field for the second half of Wednesday's second leg of the final. Sao Paulo was leading 2-0.

Officials of the Argentine club said players and staff were beaten by security officials in the dressing room area at halftime and guns were drawn. The trouble off the pitch followed scuffles between the teams at the end of the first half.

FIFA already has been frustrated by slow preparations for the 2014 World Cup.

Most of FIFA's angst has been focused on getting stadiums and new infrastructure in place. Now security also looms as a concern for the World Cup, which will be played at 12 venues across the country.

"We are monitoring very carefully the development of the different works," Blatter said.

Blatter also spoke on the introduction of goal-line technology at the Club World Cup. The magnetic-field-based system of GoalRef is being used at Yokohama Stadium while Toyota Stadium is equipped with the camera-based Hawk-Eye system.

So far, the systems haven't been tested by controversial goals but Blatter said he was pleased with the introduction of the systems, one of which will be used at the next Confederations Cup and the World Cup in Brazil.

"We have started goal-line technology with two systems here," Blatter said. "For the time being we can only say it works but there have been no critical situations so far but we will make a final assessment after the matches tomorrow."

On the issue of UEFA imposing sanctions on Serbia for an on-pitch brawl and its fans' racial abuse of England players at an ill-tempered under-21s match, Blatter said he will discuss the matter with UEFA president Michel Platini.

UEFA on Thursday fined the Serbian federation $105,000 and the under-21 team will have to play a match behind closed doors over "a number of incidents," including the brawl and racial abuse directed at black England players during the match.

However, the English Football Association said the punishment was too light.

"I don't know the details of the file which has been dealt with by UEFA's disciplinary committee," Blatter said. "FIFA's stance against racism and discrimination is zero tolerance and I will take up a discussion with the president of UEFA to find out the details of the file."

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