By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter

FORTALEZA, BRAZIL – Two football (soccer) fans were shot dead close to the Arena Castelão in Fortaleza on Sunday, one of the cities scheduled to host Confederations Cup matches in June. The shocking news came after fights broke out between sets of supporters from local sides Fortaleza and Ceara as the two clubs faced each other in a local classíco.

The Arena Castelão was the first World Cup stadium to be opened, photo by Copa 2014
The Arena Castelão was the first World Cup stadium to be opened, photo by Copa 2014.

The match was the first test event in the Castelão Stadium to check security and fan safety before June’s international tournament. While the stadium efficiency was approved by FIFA, the shooting has caused alarm among world football.

“We lament what happened,” said Tiago Paes, a local World Cup organizing committee member who was at the match in Fortaleza. “But there is work being done by the police and the army in many areas of security, so we are not concerned with that for the Confederations Cup.”

Ferruccio Feitosa, the governor in charge of the city’s World Cup preparations, denied the deaths were connected to the football match played that day, which Fortaleza won 1-0. “I’m extremely sad, but the fans were killed away from the stadium,” he said.

According to police the two victims, who were wearing Ceará football shirts, were shot in the head by two men on a motorcycle. It is currently unconfirmed whether there was an altercation before the shots were fired.

The Castelão was the first World Cup stadium to be opened in December last year. It is due to host three matches at the Confederations Cup: Brazil versus Mexico, Nigeria versus Spain and a semi-final.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.


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