Dec 13, 2012, 7:56 AM EDT
A serious and disturbing incident last night in Brazil has reminded everyone why security in and around the 2014 World Cup (and the 2016 Olympics, too) continues to be a serious concern.
It all happened during the Copa Sudamericana’s final match of South America’s continental club championship, being contested this year between Brazil’s famed Sao Paulo and Argentina’s Tigre.
The second leg of the final was abandoned at halftime following scuffles on the field and a bizarre, alleged incident at halftime that so alarmed Tigre players and officials that they refused to return for the second 45.
According to reports (like this one), Sao Paulo had a 2-0 lead. One of the goals was scored by Lucas, who leaves in a month for Paris Saint-Germain.
According to Tigre officials, they refused to return because their players had been attacked by security officials in the locker room. Chilean referee Enrique Osses abandoned the match after waiting 30 minutes; Sao Paulo was awarded the victory and the tournament title.
What Tigre coach Nestor Gorosito (pictured) told Fox Sports:
During the break, a big guy came in with a gun. Some policeman started to hit some of my players. We tried to defend ourselves.”
All of this comes as questions continue to be asked about not just security, but infrastructure; about whether Brazil will be ready to properly host the 2014 World Cup.
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