May 5, 2014
Paul Ricardo Gomes da Silva was killed after Santa Cruz played Parana at the Arruda stadium on Friday, when rioting fans ripped three toilet bowls from restrooms and dropped them on crowds below the stands.
Estimated to have landed with more than 750 pounds of force, the 26-year-old fan died instantly and his mother, Joelma told local radio, 'They killed my son and me too - I would not wish the pain I am suffering on anybody.'
Recife is one of the host cities of the World Cup, due to start on 12 June and Brazil's soccer association decided on Saturday to ban matches in the Arruda stadium until an investigation has concluded.
'The toilet was thrown from the stands and hit him full on,' said police captain Wilson Queiroz to Globesporte.
'The victim was with someone at the time but everyone fled the scene after the incident.'
Five tournament games will be played in Recife, although none at the Arruda. The city will host World Cup matches at the new Arena Pernambuco.
Local television stations reported that Da Silva had become involved in a quarrel with different groups of opposing fans following the match that drew about 8,000 supporters.
The Brazilian soccer federation announced it was 'preventively closing' the Arruda stadium until authorities complete their investigation.
Meanwhile, in Natal, soccer fans became involved in a clash before a match between rival clubs ABC and America in an exhibition at the Arena das Dunas on Saturday.
Police officer Roberto Andrade told the UOL website that the fighting started when a tiny group of America fans crossed into the path of irate ABC supporters traveling to the stadium.
The ABC fans ran after the rival group, pelting rocks at them until police intervened.
Andrade said fans from both clubs were arrested and taken to a police station for questioning.
The match marked the only official test event at the Arena das Dunas before the World Cup in June.
The stadium will host four tournament matches.
Violence involving fan groups are very common in Brazil, and the number of incidents increased last year.
FIFA and Brazilian authorities have downplayed concerns about violence inside stadiums during the World Cup, saying security will be tight.
Recife has built a new stadium, the Pernambuco Arena, for the four World Cup matches the city’s will be hosting.
Brazilian media quoted Santa Cruz president Antonio Luiz Neto as insisting his club and the police had done their best to ensure home and away fans left the Arruda stadium 15 minutes apart to minimize the risk of clashes.
President Dilma Rousseff said Brazil would not tolerate such behavior.
It will cost more than $US11 billion to stage the event that the five-times champions last hosted in 1950 on a much smaller scale.
The bill has angered many citizens who say the money spent at new state-of-the-art stadiums, some in cities without a major team, such as Recife itself, would have been better directed toward upgrading poor public services.