Brazil has obtained two unmanned drones from Israel to patrol the skies during the World Cup.

Members of the Brazilian security forces in downtown Rio de Janeiro.

Members of the Brazilian security forces in downtown Rio de Janeiro.

An estimated 600,000 foreign nationals are expected to descend on the huge South American country in June and July for the month-long football extravaganza, and that has provided a raft of extra concerns to security forces already facing a significant issue with the likelihood of mass public protests.

The first and perhaps most important issue is that of the threat of terrorism.

World Cups in the past have escaped being the target of terrorist attacks but one only has to look at the history of the Olympic Games, specifically Munich in 1972, when 11 Israeli athletes were killed by Palestinian terrorists, to realise that major sporting events are never exempt for that threat.

From England, a team of six uniformed officers will travel to Brazil to give advice and be present at matches; meanwhile, some 2,377 England fans with football banning orders will be ordered to surrender their passports.

Brazil announced in February it would boost the number of security officers from 100,000 to 170,000, across the 12 host cities, with the armed forces also on standby. Of these, 20,000 will be stewards trained to work inside the 12 stadiums.

The United States has been heavily involved in planning to deal with the terrorism threat, with input from the FBI and the CIA. There will be counter-terrorism units stationed near each venue.

Dr Peter Tarlow, a security expert specialising in the impact of crime and terrorism on the tourism industry, said on www.elsevier.com: “The key is to train your police and expect the unexpected. There will never be 100 per cent security, but a good risk-management programme can address many of the major security hurdles faced by any large sporting event.

“Brazil has traditionally never been a place of terrorism. With the coming of the World Cup, however, international problems now land on Brazil’s doorstep. This means that Brazil has not only to deal with a high crime rate but also the potential for an act of terrorism.”