1,500 foreign fans barred from Copa America in Chile

Santiago, June 6 (IANS) Nearly 1,500 football fans with prior records are banned from entering Chile as the country readies to host the 2015 Copa America championship next week, a media report said on Saturday.

Some 70,000 foreign visitors are expected to arrive for South America’s top tournament for national teams, the head of a government program called Safe Stadium (Estadio Seguro), Jose Roa, said Friday.

The plan, launched by the Ministry of the Interior, bars those with a record of violating regulations or disorderly behaviour in their countries of origin, said Roa, Xinhua news agency reported.

Chile previously signed agreements with the governments of the 12 countries participating in the 44th edition of the continental joust which kicks off June 11 with a match between Chile and Ecuador.

Officials from these countries drew up a list of football fans with prior records and the list “is already in the hands of the Investigative Police (PDI), which is going to exercise its jurisdiction over immigration to keep them out of the country, as their prior records warrant,” said Roa.

Anyone on the list who manages to enter the country “will be barred from entering the stadia in Chile,” he added.

Matches will be held at nine different stadia in eight cities, including Santiago.

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