Wed, May 07, 2014 - Page 19 News List

Brazil police arrest man for slaying fan with toilet bowl

AFP, RIO DE JANEIRO

Brazilian police on Monday said they had arrested a man suspected of killing a soccer fan by hurling a toilet bowl at him after a match in FIFA World Cup host city Recife last week.

Everton Felipe Santana, 23, was arrested on suspicion of throwing the bowl that killed 26-year-old Paulo Ricardo Gomes da Silva on Friday outside the Estadio do Arruda in Pernambuco State.

Da Silva died after fans clashed outside the stadium on the other side of town from the brand-new Pernambuco Arena that will host World Cup matches. He was buried on Sunday.

The latest in a string of hooliganism incidents has shocked Brazil as it prepares to host world soccer’s elite event next month.

Broadcaster Globo’s G1 Web news portal quoted Santana’s lawyer as saying that the 23-year-old “knew what he was doing,” even if he had not planned on causing any disorder when he went to see Friday’s game between Santa Cruz and Parana.

“He confessed to participating, but could not explain his motive,” Globo quoted the lawyer as saying, adding that the lawyer said Santana told him he was ashamed of what he had done and had given police details of other fans involved.

Brazilian Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo condemned the incident, saying: “Imagine. Someone goes to a football stadium, proceeds to dismantle a toilet and throws it at another fan. What is that?”

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff tweeted her sorrow and outrage at the killing on Sunday, saying that “a country that loves football cannot tolerate violence in its stadiums.”

Brazil’s Tribunal for Sporting Justice on Sunday imposed a two-match supporter ban for upcoming matches at the stadium and said the venue would remain closed pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation.

Da Silva’s relatives say they are considering legal action against Santa Cruz, but club chairman Antonio Luiz Neto said the club did what it could to keep fans apart, allowing a 15-minute interval for rival supporters to leave the venue.

On Sunday, Globo quoted physics professor Beraldo Neto as saying that when Da Silva was hit, he endured a force equivalent to that exerted by an object weighing 350kg. Neto estimated that the toilet bowl weighed 15kg and was thrown at about 80kph.

Other recent incidences of soccer violence in Brazil saw fans of Atletico Paranaense engage in bloody clashes with Vasco da Gama rivals and fans of Sao Paulo-based Corinthians attack their side’s players in their training complex.

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