About 6,000 Argentinian fans, identified by authorities in their home country, will not be allowed to enter football stadiums in Qatar during the World Cup tournament, an official from the South American country has said.
Marcelo D’Alessandro, the Minister of Justice and Security of the city of Buenos Aires, told local radio in an interview that, of the 6,000 fans who have been barred from entering grounds, close to 1,600 are from the capital.
“We want to return peace to football and ensure that the violent ones are out,” said Mr D’Alessandro said.
"They were included for belonging to the barras [violent fan groups], for participating in violent acts, for illicit associations such as 'trapitos' [banned street businesses] and for owing child maintenance payments."
He said 1,547 supporters of four main clubs in Buenos Aires, known to be involved in fighting or other public disorder offences during football matches, have been barred from entering the stadiums.
More than 30 per cent of the fans are from River Plate, 25 per cent support Boca Juniors while 25 per cent are affiliated with Velez Sarsfield and 8 per cent follow the San Lorenzo club.
Officials in Buenos Aires said the restrictions were enforced after months of surveillance work and intelligence-gathering before the tournament.
Mr D’Alessandro added that local officers from Argentina will assist in patrolling the matches for those who have been banned.
"As always in the World Cups, delegations of different police bodies will be sent to work together with the Qatari security authorities," he said.
Argentina are among the tournament favourites and begin their challenge on November 22 against Saudi Arabia. They play against Mexico four days later and finish their group games against Poland on November 30.
A ban on Argentinian supporters follows similar measures taken elsewhere to ensure the World Cup is played out free from fan violence.
Last month British authorities announced a World Cup travel ban for more than 1,300 known hooligans.
Those who fail to hand over their passport and attempt to travel to the tournament without permission between November 10 and the end of the World Cup on December 18, will face up to six months in prison and a fine.