By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Fluminense and Vasco have been relegated to the Campeonato Brasileiro’s Série ‘B’ after the final round of the 2013 Brasileirão yesterday afternoon. A 3-0 win for Botafogo guaranteed them fourth place, and if they don’t win the Copa Sul-Americana on Wednesday against Argentine outfit Lanús, will play Libertadores football next year.
All sporting action was overshadowed by the horrific violence witnessed at the game between Atlético-PR and Vasco. The contest was one of high stakes: Atlético needed a win to guarantee Libertadores qualification while Vasco fought against relegation.
The game took place in Joinville, Santa Catarina, as punishment for violence in an earlier Atlético match. Tempers flared after Atlético took an early lead and both sets of supporters clashed, raising serious questions over the lack of security in the terraces and responsibility for supporter safety.
The match was stopped after only seventeen minutes with television cameras broadcasting sickening images of violence. A helicopter was forced to land on the pitch and take the seriously injured to the hospital, while no football was played for one hour and twelve minutes and the teams deliberated on whether the match would continue or not.
Action eventually got underway again and Atlético ran out easy 5-1 winners, condemning Vasco to a second relegation in five years. However, it was not the real story of the day.
At the time of writing four fans are in hospital in critical condition. A nineteen-year-old remains in a coma with a fractured skull. Three Vasco fans were arrested this morning and will be charged with attempted murder.
Elsewhere, Fluminense beat Bahia 2-1 but Coritiba’s 1-0 victory away to São Paulo meant the Tricolor were still sent to Serie B. It is the first time in Brasileirão history that two Carioca clubs will compete together in the second division, as well as the first time a champion has been relegated the following season.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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