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Brazil police detain two alleged Argentine 'barrabravas' hooligans

Reuters

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 21 (Reuters) - Brazilian police detained two alleged Argentine hooligans known as barrabravas at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte on Saturday during Argentina's 1-0 victory over Iran at the World Cup, organisers said.

The alleged hooligans were released after being given 72 hours to leave Brazil or face forced deportation, according to a statement from the local organising committee.

Brazil's Federal Police apprehended the fans after help from their counterparts in Argentina, the statement said.

More than 200 international police officers from 31 countries and representatives of Interpol are working with Brazilian law enforcement agencies during the World Cup, organisers added.

Argentina suffers from football-related violence by the barrabravas, members of hooligan gangs who have taken a grip on the domestic game through an association with club directors and politicians. In 2013, 15 Argentine fans died in soccer-related violence.

With thousands of Argentine fans traveling to neighbouring Brazil to follow their team, organisers said before the tournament began that preventing the barrabravas from acting in the host country was a key security priority.

Other alleged barrabravas members have been detained at the border and sent home. So far there has been no serious violence among fans.

The press offices for Brazil's Federal Police in Brasilia and Belo Horizonte and for the local organising committee in Rio de Janeiro wwere not available to comment. (Reporting by Jeb Blount; editing by Ken Ferris)

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