Colombia bans foam to avoid World Cup close shaves

Colombia bans foam to avoid World Cup close shaves
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos

BOGOTA - Colombia will ban the sale of flour and shaving foam in Bogota for Friday's quarter-final World clash with hosts Brazil, with thousands expected on the streets and passions running high in the football-mad country.

Colombians often celebrate by dousing people in shaving cream or making flour "bombs," but police, who will be out in force for the game on the streets of the capital, want to stamp out the practise because it can lead to fights. Alcohol sales will also be banned on Friday.

President Juan Manuel Santos, who will watch the team in Fortaleza, called on his countrymen to "keep calm." After the victory against Uruguay on Saturday, authorities logged more than 3,200 fights and 34 were hurt in post-game violence across Colombia.

On Saturday, it will be Costa Rica's turn, when they face the Netherlands for a place in the World Cup semi-finals.

Costa Rican authorities said Wednesday they would clamp down on domestic violence that has spiked on game days of the country's historic run in the tournament.

Violence against women has surged 200 per cent when the national team are playing, figures show, with alcohol consumption largely blamed.

Alejandra Mora, minister for women, said: "The abusers are turning a special moment for our country into a disgrace in their own homes and we have to stop it.

"We are trying to make the problem more public and give domestic violence the red card."

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