Away fans banned from Sao Paulo derbies after violence

 05 Apr 2016 - 12:51

Away fans banned from Sao Paulo derbies after violence


SAO PAULO: Sao Paulo police have banned away fans from attending city derbies until the end of the year after a bystander was shot dead on Sunday as Palmeiras and Corinthians fans battled ahead of their state championship game.

The decision was taken by the state's military police in conjunction with the Paulista State Football Federation and public prosecutors.

"This will avoid the need for the Military Police to escort organised fan groups, which will allow a reinforcement of policing around the stadiums," Alexandre de Moraes, the Sao Paulo state's police chief, said in a statement.

Although they did not specify which clubs would be hit by the move, it is likely to apply to the state's big four -- Corinthians, Palmeiras, Santos and Sao Paulo.

Authorities also announced they would ban home fans groups from taking banners and drums into stadiums in the state.

While the groups say they are merely fanatical supporters, police and prosecutors have identified them as hooligans and behind some of the worst football-related violence in Brazil which has left dozens dead over the last two decades.

Officials also said they had identified 50 fans involved in the latest violence and would be banning them from stadiums.

A bystander was shot dead on Sunday when rivals groups fought pitch battles hours before Palmeiras's 1-0 win.

Police arrested at least 60 people in at least four locations across the city before and after the match, according to news reports.

"These fans are going to suffer a big setback," said public prosecutor Paulo Castilho. "The circle is closing on them and all the institutions are united to end football violence."

REUTERS