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Fans die after SWC test event

16 April 2013, 08:44

Rio de Janeiro - Two football fans died after clashes broke out following a match staged as a test event for the opening of a stadium due to be used during next year's World Cup, a report said on Monday.

The Castelao stadium in Fortaleza, northeast Brazil, is due to host matches both at the World Cup and June's Confederations Cup.

But a fight broke out on Sunday between rival fans four kilometres away from the stadium after the Cearense state championship match that saw Ceara take on Fortaleza, newspaper O Globo reported.

Members of Fortaleza's "Garra Tricolor" fans used sticks and stones to provoke a fight, during which one fan shot two rival supporters, the daily added.

One of the victims was a 30-year-old man while the other has not been identified.

Police have arrested a man who witnesses claimed had killed the two fans.

At the moment of his arrest he was carrying a weapon and wearing a Fortaleza shirt.

The match was supposed to be used to test the functionality of the stadium so the local organising committee (COL) could check issues such as transport to the ground, spectator services, cleanliness, refuse collection and pitch conditions.

There were only 16 000 fans in the stadium which can hold 63 903 people.

Since being opened on January 16, the Castelao had already hosted 19 events, 16 of which were football matches.

Before hosting its first Confederations Cup match between Brazil and Mexico on June 19, it is due to welcome several other events, including a Paul McCartney concert on May 9.

After the match, won 1-0 by Ceara, COL's operational integration general manager Tiago Paes said in a statement released by FIFA: "All areas were evaluated very well."

COL has so far not commented on the deaths.

The violence came as violence flared at football matches in England, Germany and Greece, although none was as deadly.

Sunday was also the day in which construction work on the municipal stadium in Recife, another Confederations Cup venue, was finished.

The next test event will be in the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte on April 24 when Brazil will play Chile in a friendly.



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