By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Sunday, July 9th, Rio’s Municipal Health Secretary confirmed that one individual has died as a result of gun shot wounds stemming from the violent outbreaks between Military Police and fans at Saturday’s (July 8th) football (soccer) match between Flamengo and Vasco at São Januário Stadium.
Rescue workers brought the victim, unidentified at time of writing, to Hospital Municipal Souza Aguiar, but he succumbed to his injuries before arriving in the hospital.
In addition, Municipal Health Secretary officials confirmed that three other individuals were also treated in the hospital for gunshot wounds following Saturday’s match.
Rio’s Military Police had their hands full throughout the match, won 1-0 by Flamengo, as numerous fights broke out in the stands and surrounding the stadium between groups of fans from the rival factions.
Hostility reached new heights at the closing whistle with players fleeing the field as incendiary devices resembling homemade bombs, garbage and other debris rained down onto the field. Military Police used tear gas to clear the stadium as angry mobs of what appeared to be frustrated Vasco fans attempted to rush the field.
During the hysteria, local radio broadcasters Carlos Borges and Waldir Luiz even had to evacuate the broadcast booth as fans tried to break into the studio.
The violent conclusion marred what was a pivotal match up in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (Brasileirão) between the two crosstown rivals. With the victory, the Rubro-Negra surged to second place in the standings with 23 points. With 16 points, Vasco remains in sixth place.
After the game, Everton, who scored the game’s only goal, told reporters, “The result was important, but at this point we regret what happened. Many families come into the stadium with children.” Éverton Ribeiro added, “I hope the good people who are in the stands are well.”
In an official statement released late yesterday, Vasco club president
Eurico Miranda took a remorseful, yet somewhat defiant tone. “CR Vasco da Gama reiterates its position of condemning the episodes in São Januário after yesterday’s match.” Miranda cautioned, “At this time, all authorities should focus on the facts and evidence, and the media also needs to analyze the facts of what happened with journalistic honesty.”
Correction: This article has been corrected since it was originally published on July 10th to credit Everton with the game’s only goal, not Éverton Ribeiro.