FIFA calls fan violence in Brazil ‘very sad’
An injured fan is carried on a stretcher after clashes with team fans during a Brazilian league soccer match between Atletico Paranaense and Vasco da Gama in Joinville, southern Brazil, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013. A key Brazilian league match was stopped Sunday after fans started fighting in the stands and a helicopter had to land on the pitch to airlift a seriously injured man. A doctor said two other fans were hospitalized in serious condition and one was treated for a minor injury at the stadium. (AP Photo/Carlos Moraes, Agencia O Dia)
SAO PAULO (AP) — As disturbing images of fans hitting each other are shown across Brazil, soccer’s governing body is downplaying the risk of violence inside stadiums during the World Cup.
FIFA is condemning the mayhem in the southern city of Joinville, where fan fighting halted a decisive Brazilian league match for more than an hour Sunday. Four people were hospitalized, including one person who was airlifted from the field.
FIFA says in a statement to The Associated Press that what happened was “very sad for Brazilian football” and “such incidents should not happen in any football stadium.”
The violence came only two days after FIFA held the draw for the World Cup with an extravagant ceremony in a resort in northeastern Brazil.