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Brazilian club punished after toilet bowl death

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm •  Published: May 5, 2014

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil's sports tribunal has ordered a second-division team to play its next two home matches in an empty stadium because of the death of a man struck in the head by a toilet bowl thrown from the stands during fan violence last weekend.

The tribunal has also suspended all of Santa Cruz's fan groups from attending matches anywhere in Brazil until the person who threw the toilet bowl was turned over to authorities. Police said suspects were detained on Monday for interrogation but declined to say whether charges would be immediately filed.

Police would not provide any further details on Monday's arrests, but Brazilian media reported that a 23-year-old man allegedly confessed he threw one of the toilets. According to the reports, he said two other fans helped him, but it wasn't clear if they were also detained.

Santa Cruz's Arruda Stadium was closed by the Brazilian football federation on Saturday, a day after the 26-year-old fan was killed in the fighting in the northeastern World Cup host city of Recife.

The death prompted Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to call for actions to contain fan violence in Brazil's stadiums, including the "urgent" installation of specialized police stations inside stadiums.

"The country that loves football can't be tolerant to violence inside stadiums," she said on Twitter after the death. "Violence inside stadiums must be rigorously reprimanded by local police, and criminals must be taken to courts. Football stadiums are home to joy and passion. We should all unite for #PeaceAtStadiums."

Brazil Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said impunity was what keeps fueling fan violence in the country.

"Police has to find the responsible person for this and make an arrest," Rebelo told the government's official Agencia Brasil news service on Monday. "To imagine that someone will go to a football stadium and rip a toilet bowl to throw it at someone ... what is this?"

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