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FIFA will stop World Cup matches if tear gas reaches field

Photo: Felipe Dana/AP

People march toward the home of Sergio Cabral, the governor of Rio de Janeiro state, to stage a protest.

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- World Cup matches in Brazil next year will be stopped if tear gas from protests outside stadiums affects players.

The Confederations Cup, which serves as a test event for the 2014 World Cup, witnessed clashes between anti-government protesters and police outside some stadiums.

FIFA won't tell the security officials to avoid a repeat of scenes where police were using rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas close to stadiums.

"That's not for me to decide on security, that's an issue for the government,'' FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said on Monday. "I am asking them to provide the security we need to organize the World Cup ... we have no right to ask the government what to do with the security. It's their problem and their responsibility.''

Tear gas wafted into some Confederations Cup games, with reports that members of the Brazil team were affected during its 3-0 victory over Spain in Sunday's final at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Asked if World Cup games would be halted if tear gas was troubling the teams, Valcke said: "Anytime the 22 players on the pitch cannot play, then you have to stop.''

Valcke experienced the effects of tear gas during one game in Brazil, but said it is impossible to stop it drifting into stadiums.

"What you do want to do? To put volunteers (blowing) around the stadium?'' Valcke asked.

"You want us to put some big fans in order to push (it) away?'' he added. "There is a limit to what we can do. There is a limit to what we can ask. Again, we have to live with what we have sometimes.''

Valcke said security only becomes a concern "if we cannot organize the event.''

"Along as it doesn't affect the organization of the event it's a responsibility of the government security,'' he said.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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