Curitiba (Brazil) – With four championships, six cup victories and two Copa Libertadores titles Cruzeiro Belo Horizonte One of the most successful clubs in Brazil, but at the moment the traditional club is struggling to stay in the league. Fans may have taken the term relegation battle too literally.
On Saturday, the ‘Celestials’, whose stars such as Ronaldo (47), Rivaldo (51) and Giovanni Elber (51) laced up their boots, visited Coritiba in the basement of Serie A.
The confrontation between the 17th and 19th was very exciting for a long time, but there were no goals. Only in stoppage time was Robson (32′) able to give the home team a 1-0 lead thanks to a free kick.
Curitiba’s players couldn’t celebrate their late relief, because immediately afterwards all hell broke loose at Villa Capanema. Suddenly, several spectators from the distant Belo Horizonte building rushed onto the pitch, quickly sending the players into the catacombs, as seen in online videos of the incident.
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Opposition fans appeared to feel provoked by the invasion, as several home team fans managed to get onto the pitch.
There and then the two mobs attacked each other. Punches and objects flew, and kicks were exchanged, while the completely exhausted security men tried to calm the situation to no avail.
According to a report by a Brazilian newspaper Globo The disturbance can only be dispersed by the arrival of the military police. What remained was a chaotic battlefield with missing shoes and destroyed billboards.
Strangely, after a half-hour break, the referee decided to continue playing the final moments of the match under police protection. But nothing changed in the final score of 1-0.
The hosts have now issued an official statement on the events and condemned the riots “in the strongest possible terms”.
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“FC Coritiba strongly opposes the invasion of the field after the goal, which was initiated by Cruzeiro fans and led to major disturbances,” the statement read.
He added: “Such situations are unacceptable and only harm the clubs and Brazilian football. The club is working to identify the hackers and those responsible for the incident.”
Gabriel Lima, Cruzeiro’s managing director, told Globo that troublemakers should be punished harshly, but also criticized the conditions at the opposition’s stadium.
The club president asked: “How are we allowed to play in a stadium with this infrastructure?” He asked: “How can we play such an important match in a stadium where there are no minimum safety requirements for the players and the fans themselves?”
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