Rio stadium closed after death of a fan


Brazilian club Vasco da Gama have been ordered to play home matches behind closed doors after a fan was shot dead during disturbances at their ground.

Vasco’s 1-0 defeat on Sunday at home to title-chasing Flamengo in the Rio de Janeiro derby was marred by crowd trouble at the final whistle.

Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho, a former Vasco player, was at the matchas the club’s guest of honour.

“I needed to apologise on behalf of Vasco,” president Eurico Miranda said.

“What happened here is not Vasco. Do not qualify these people as fans. They are vandals, bandits. I’m not giving an explanation, but I’m sure it’s something that was already prepared.”

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said that Vasco’s fans caused “serious disturbances and a show of violence”. The governing body added that an official inquiry into the disturbances has been launched by Brazil’s Superior Court of Sporting Justice.
“Taking into account that the safety of fans is a priority, it has been decided to ban the presence of the public at Sao Januario stadium in any football match. The decision is pending a decision by the Sporting Justice which will look into last weekend’s events,” the CBF said.

Davi Rocha Lopes, 27, died in the clashes following the match in Brazil’s Serie A championship on Saturday.

Three other people were taken to hospital with two suffering from gunshot wounds, according to police.

Coutinho was paraded around Vasco’s 21,000-capacity stadium before the match.

Fighting in the stands and outside the stadium began at the end of the match, after Flamengo had secured their first win at the Sao Januario stadium for 44 years.

Among the players who fled the pitch at full-time as police used tear gas was 16-year-old Real Madrid player Vinicius Junior,who is on loan at Flamengo following his £38m move to the Bernabeu.

Flamengo are second in the league, with Vasco in mid-table.

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