It’s three days following the World Cup Draw, so Brazil decided to let the world know it’s ready to host the big event with this disturbing soccer riot. It happened in Joinville, in southern Brazil, where Brasileiro club teams Atletico Paranaense and Vasco da Gama were meeting on neutral ground due to their history of fan violence. But that didn’t seem to matter: the fight was on.
The violent scenes left several seriously injured and one fan reportedly dead, with a helicopter being forced to land on the pitch and air-lift the injured supporter to safety after the match was halted.
Vasco club director Antonio Peralta, said: ”We have one fan in a coma, and a supporter of the other side is dead. Or so I’ve heard.
“This is not a circus, it is recreation, a sporting event that has to bring joy and not death. At Vasco we do not accept that.”
Granted, this was a club match: which is far different in nature than international play. Fan violence is somewhat endemic to club competition, in many countries, not just Brazil.
But it always seems to be something else in this country as it prepares for its two big showcase events. The government recently admitted that it will not meet a FIFA deadline for construction of its six venues for the 2014 World Cup; there have been mass protests throughout the nation over the cost of preparations for the World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games; and then of course there’s the gang drug violence.
Many are now most likely thinking: ‘On second thought, let’s not go to Brazil. It is an unstable place.’
UPDATE: According to the Associated Press, one fan was airlifted to the hospital, but no one actually died. FIFA is trying to downplay the violence.