Venezuela braces for Spain match

Venezuelan officials are bracing for Tuesday’s friendly match against World Cup champion Spain with plans to deploy 7,000 police, soldiers, firemen and paramedics at and around the 40,000-seat stadium in the port city of Puerto La Cruz.

Officials have also announced a local ban on the sale of alcohol on the day of the match.

The Anzoategui state governor has designated Tuesday as an official holiday in the state.

”We guarantee the security of all people coming to the match, and the two teams,” said national guard coronel Jose Gregorio Gomez. ”The sale of alcoholic drinks will be restricted in the stadium and surrounding areas. This measure is being carried out to guarantee security on the roads and at airports, hotel and public areas.”

Venezuela has one of the highest homicide rates in the region.

Spain plays the Untied States in Boston on Saturday and then heads for Venezuela.

Venezuela is using the friendly as a tuneup for the Copa America, the South American championship, which is played July 1-24 in Argentina.