By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – In another deadly football (soccer) related incident, eight men we shot and killed on Saturday night before a state championship qualifying match in Pavilhão 9 of the Corinthians football club, in the West Zone of São Paulo. While the investigators do not believe the motive was solely fan rivalry, the massacre cast a shadow on the sport in Brazil’s largest city.
“Through witnesses, we are already exploring a line of investigation, which is not leading us to believe it was caused by fan rivalry,” detective Arlindo Jose Negrao was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency
“The staff were leaving. That left eight people there. Three armed men arrived, put them on their knees, told them to lie down, and shot the bullets in them,” said the spokesperson.
Another man, a janitor who worked at the site, escaped because the bullets ran out. “They said he was lucky that the bullets had run out and that he was alive to tell all,” reported the mother of one of the victims, who declined to be identified.
One of the victims is Fabio Neves Domingos, 34, who in 2013 spent more than a hundred days imprisoned in Oruro, Bolivia, after the death of the boy Kevin Sword was hit by a flag during the match for Corinthians and San Jose, during the 2013 Copa Libertadores.
The other victims are: Junior Ricardo Leonel do Prado, 34; André Luiz de Oliveira Santos, 29; Matheus Fonseca de Oliveira, 19; Jonathan Fernando Garzillo Massa, 21; Marco Antonio Corassa junior, 19; Mydras Schmidt Rizzo, 38; and an eighth still unidentified.
The massacre is being investigated by the Homicide and Protection of Persons (DHPP) of the Civil Police, which already has some suspects, but whose names were not disclosed to not hinder the determination of the case. One of the lines of investigation, police said, is related to drug trafficking and police are already collecting security camera pictures next to the scene to try to identify the perpetrators of the murders.
Last year, dozens of members of another Corinthians’ fan club, Gavioes da Fiel, invaded the team’s training center. Angered by the team’s performance, they attacked employees and grabbed Peruvian striker Paolo Guerrero by his neck, forcing other players to flee into a locker room and barricade themselves until police arrived.
In July 2013 an unbelievable gruesome incident lead to the dismemberment of a referee in an amateur football match-turned deadly in the northern Brazilian state of Maranhão. Spectators beat and beheaded the game’s referee after he stabbed a player.