KUALA LUMPUR: Football fans can go to Brazil for the coming World Cup without a worry, says the Brazil Embassy in Malaysia.
“They will be safe there and will not face any problems,” assured Minister Counsellor Jose Soares (pic).
With less than a week to the opening, many are already making their way to the South American nation, but there are concerns over the country’s high crime rate and violent protests over the spiralling cost of hosting the tournament.
“We fully guarantee people’s security. The Brazilian Government have had many talks with the social movements and they have reached an agreement to suspend protests and strikes throughout the tournament,” Soares said.
“We are confident the agreement will be effective, after all, the World Cup is psychologically a national cause.”
Brazil reported that more than 2.9 million, out of some three million tickets for the matches, had been sold.
As for the street crime and possible drug menace, Soares said the Brazilian police and security forces had mobilised more personnel around the World Cup zones and tourist spots to ensure the safety of the travelling football fans.
“The travellers also need to do their part,” he added. “They cannot be too curious and wander off on their own to isolated places, and at odd hours. Like in any big cities, they cannot show off their valuables or luxury goods.”
While many favelas or slum areas in cities like Rio de Janeiro have become tourist attractions, Soares advised Malaysian travellers to visit them in organised tours.
“And just like when you are entering someone’s home, please respect their privacy. The favela is home to ordinary people who have many of the same concerns as you and I.”
He urged those travelling to Brazil for the games to be open to the richness of Brazilian culture.
“There is more than football to Brazil. There is uniqueness and originality of the culture in Brazil, as well as in Latin America.”
“Ultimately, just as anywhere in the world, when you travel, the general rule is moderation and caution,” he advised.