Brazilian fan killed by toilet bowl thrown from stands
Crowd violence occurred in Recife where five World Cup games are scheduled to be staged
Police outside Arruda stadium in recife where a man was killed by a toilet bol thrown form the stands after a game between Parana and Santa Cruz. Photograph: Guga Matos/JC Imagem/Reuters
A football fan was killed in one of Brazil’s World Cup host cities after being struck by a toilet bowl thrown by rival fans during a post-match brawl on Friday night.
The latest outbreak of football violence in the country took place in the north-eastern city Recife during a second division match between local team Santa Cruz and Paraná. Video shown on local television showed two toilet bowels thrown from an upper tier onto a group of fans involved in fighting as they exited the match. One struck Paulo Ricardo Gomes da Silva (26), who died at the scene.
He was a supporter of Santa Cruz’s local rival Sport and had been at the game supporting visiting team Paraná. Witnesses said Santa Cruz fans clashed with Sport and Paraná fans at an exit throwing fireworks with unconfirmed reports of gunfire.
The violence took place at Santa Cruz’s Arruda stadium which is not being used to host Recife’s five World Cup games, the first of which will be held on June 15th when Japan play the Ivory Coast. Brazil’s football authorities ordered the indefinite closure of Santa Cruz’s ground.
There was more football-related violence on Saturday in Natal at a test event for the city’s new Arena das Dunas, which will host four World Cup games. Over 40 fans were held after clashes between supporters of local rivals América and ABC before the game.
Rocks and other objects were thrown when groups of rivals fans ran into each other on the way to the stadium. Fans then attacked police after they intervened.
Over 230 have been killed in football-related violence in Brazil during the last quarter of a century. Much of the violence is between supporters groups known as ‘organizadas’ who have faced intermittent crack downs by the authorities over the years but whose influence remains deeply ingrained in Brazilian fan culture, often gaining access to training grounds to threaten players when they are not happy with their performance.
Following Friday’s death Brazil’s striker Fred took to Twitter to denounce “another savage episode in our stadiums. The greatest tragedy is the certainty of impunity”.
Despite being almost certain to start for Brazil in the World Cup Fred has been targetted by fans of his club Fluminense over the team’s poor start to the domestic season. Last month, after he was attacked while in his car by 30 Fluminense supporters, he made the rare move of denouncing the ‘organizada’ fan cluture.
Normally Brazilian players are reluctant to speak out against the groups lest it provoke more violence. But after he was attacked in his car Fred took to social media publishing a ‘Manifesto against ‘organizadas’ supporters’.
“I am fighting against violence and against death,” he wrote. “I am talking seriously here. All players have to put an end to this.”