Uruguay to tighten security protocol in football stadiums

Montevideo, Jan 15 (IANS) The Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) and the government’s National Ministry for Sport (SND) have agreed to advance with a package of security measures to eradicate violence in stadiums.

“We have already progressed in some points. We are one step away from completion. The dialogue, and the willingness we have is important,” Xinhua quoted AUF president Wilmar Valdez as saying, after meeting with the SND authorities on Thursday.

“There is an agreement in principal, a way of working together, to reschedule the topic of (security) cameras (in the stadiums) which has been very complex,” said Valdez.

To ensure the activity begins, clubs from the first and second division should designate “security coordinators” and build “teams of security assistants,” added the head of the SND, Fernando Caceres.

The seats “in the three main stadiums” should also be numbered, Caceres told local sports website Montevideo Portal.

“Both parties have been very willing” and “a commission has been formed to continue work over the next three weeks to set a timetable for the most important things,” noted Alfredo Etchandy, spokesperson for the SND.

“There is a series of points we have completed and the rest have to be accomplished in the coming days,” Etchandy told local radio station, Sport.

An agreement between the AUF and the Interior Ministry established that by the second half of 2015 a facial detection system would be up and running to prevent violent fans from entering the stadiums. This is still to be completed.

Despite the police and the AUF committing to implement an admission right in the stadiums years ago, its application has been systematically postponed.

The clubs claim they do not have enough resources to carry out such a measure while the police say that it is not their responsibility.

Violence among soccer hooligans is common in Uruguay and has claimed at least 10 lives in recent decades.

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