Police detain 19 involved in Brazil fan violence
Brazilian police detained 19 people for their alleged
involvement in fan violence that marked the final round of the
Brazilian league, with some of them likely to be charged with
Police in three states had arrest warrants for nearly 30 people
in a joint operation being called ”Red Card,” with detentions
made throughout the day on Thursday.
Authorities used television images and photographs to identify
the fans, among them a former council member in the southern city
of Curitiba and at least one of the four men hospitalized after the
Three men had been arrested the day of the Dec. 8 fight, which
resulted in police firing rubber bullets to disperse the crowd
during the match between Atletico Paranaense and Vasco da Gama. One
of the injured men had to be airlifted from the field to a
Hundreds of fans from charged at each other in the stands,
throwing punches and kicks and using sticks and metal bars in the
fighting. Images of the violence were sent around the world,
raising doubts about Brazil’s preparedness to host the World Cup
”We hope this becomes a lesson to fans so they understand that
the law still exists inside a stadium during sporting events,”
police inspector Luis Felipe Fuentes told Globo TV. ”A murder
attempt inside a stadium is the same as a murder attempt outside
Authorities told a news conference in Rio de Janeiro that 12
fans had not yet been arrested by the end of the day on Thursday
and were considered fugitives.
Sixteen detentions were made in Parana, two in Santa Catarina
and one in Rio de Janeiro state.
Police had search and seizure warrants for the headquarters of
fan groups from both teams in Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba.
Officials said they seized documents and computers from an Atletico
Paranaense fan group, and one of the computers contained images of
past fights involving its members.
Fan groups are usually at the root of stadium violence in
Brazil, with many fights pre-arranged on the Internet. Government
officials, including Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, have been
calling for more strict punishment for those caught in fan fights
The match was played in Joinville instead of Atletico’s base in
Curitiba because the club had already been punished because of fan
Last week, Brazil’s sports tribunal said Atletico Paranaense
will have to play 12 matches away from home next year because of
the fighting. The tribunal also said Vasco will have play eight
`home’ matches away. Both clubs will have to play half of the games
in empty stadiums. Atletico Paranaense was also fined about $50,000
and Vasco nearly $35,000.
This week, Japanese automaker Nissan dropped its sponsorship of
Vasco because of the fighting, saying the violence was
”incompatible with the values and principles supported and
defended by the company across the world.” The planned four-year
sponsorship deal had been signed in July.
A four-time Brazilian champion, Vasco lost the interrupted game
5-1 and was relegated to the second division for the second time in
five years. Atletico Paranaense finished third in the 20-team
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