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Brazil club Cruzeiro punished over fan violence

October 25, 2013

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian league leader Cruzeiro will have to play one home match away from its stadium because of fan violence involving its supporters.

Brazil’s sports tribunal on Friday also ruled that Sao Paulo will play four matches away from its home because of fan fighting.

The tribunal said Cruzeiro also has to pay a $15,000 fine after the team’s supporters confronted police during the 1-0 loss to rival Atletico Mineiro on Oct. 13 in Belo Horizonte. Sao Paulo also will have to pay a fine for the incidents in the match against Corinthians that same day.

Several cases of fan violence have hit 2014 World Cup host Brazil in recent months, and Vasco da Gama, Corinthians and second-division club Palmeiras all have lost home games because of confrontations this year.

Police used tear gas to contain the Cruzeiro supporters and later found homemade explosives among some of the team’s fan groups at the Independencia Stadium. Television images showed that at least one of the devices was hurdled into the section where Atletico Mineiro supporters were sitting. No injuries were reported.

Atletico Mineiro, the home team, was fined about $10,000.

Cruzeiro said it will appeal.

“This is a police case,” Cruzeiro club director Alexandre Mattos said. “Authorities need to prosecute those involved in the incident. We did all that we could have done.”

Seeking its first national title since 2003, Cruzeiro has a nine-point lead over second-place Gremio with eight rounds left in the Brazilian league. The club will still be able to host the match against Criciuma at the Mineirao Stadium on Saturday. It’s possible the suspension is served against Gremio, depending on the length of the appeal process.

Because of the tribunal’s suspension, Sao Paulo will not be able to play home matches until the end of this year’s Brazilian league. The team is 10th in the 20-team standings. It plays at Internacional on Sunday.

The tribunal also fined the six-time champion about $40,000 for the problems in the match against Corinthians at the Morumbi Stadium, when police used batons to keep Sao Paulo supporters from invading the rival fan section. Television images showed bloodied fans throwing punches at officers and some fans with small children trying to flee the chaos.

After the match, supporters from both teams clashed at a major avenue. A bus carrying Sao Paulo fans had nearly all of its windows destroyed and police seized several iron bars and rocks used in the confrontation. Authorities detained at least 30 people involved in the clash, including several women.

The tribunal fined club world champion Corinthians about $10,000 because some of its fans also were involved in the incidents at the Morumbi.

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Follow Tales Azzoni at http://twitter.com/tazzoni

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