Ghanaian soccer fans seek asylum in Brazil

SAO PAULO — Police in southern Brazil say hundreds of Ghanaians who entered Brazil as tourists to watch World Cup games have asked for asylum.

Noerci da Silva Melo heads the Federal Police office in the city of Caxias do Sul. He said Thursday that over the past week, 200 Ghanaians have asked for asylum. The Justice Ministry will decide whether to grant their requests. In the meantime, they are allowed to work and circulate in Brazil.

He said close to 150 of the Ghanaians have left Caxias do Sul for the states of Sao Paulo and Santa Catarina where they have a better chance of finding employment.

Melo said the Ghanaians claimed to be Muslims ”fleeing the violent conflicts between different Muslim groups.”