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World Cup: Rio acts on Copacabana campers

Rio de Janeiro authorities promised on Friday to provide proper facilities for World Cup fans camping on Copacabana beach.

RIO DE JANEIRO: Rio de Janeiro authorities promised on Friday to provide proper facilities for World Cup fans camping on Copacabana beach.

The area has been awash for several days with mainly Argentine and Chilean fans, many of whom have travelled several thousand kilometers by road to the event.

Rio mayor Eduardo Paes opened up the gates of the Terreirao district used during the city's famed carnival in order to create a "campsite for gringos."

Many fans traveled to Rio in camper vans and are spending the night in them -- but others have been sleeping rough and cooking meals by the beach.

According to Rio municipality workers, some have also been using the streets as public conveniences.

"We want to receive tourists correctly with special attention for our South American neighbors who have driven enormous distances with family and friends to enjoy the World Cup in our city," said Paes.

The establishment of camping facilities will give visitors access to toilets while municipal cleaning teams and police will also be deployed there.

But not all the tourists, who have in some cases traveled more than 4,000 kilometres to Rio, are happy to have to leave their beach bolthole.

"Rio was not prepared to receive such a larce scale event ... there are no chemical toilets, no spaces to park our camper vans. Now we are being moved on and they are saying if we don't comply they will confiscate our vans," one Argentinian fan, Daniel Muller, told AFP.

"We want to stay here. There is the Fan Fest and cultural interchange with fans from other countries. If this is about moving us 30 kilometres away from here then I'd have rather stayed in my own country," complained Chilean Jonatan Tabia, a physiotherapist.

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