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Brazilian team punished after toilet bowl death

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 5, 2014 at 3:48 pm •  Published: May 5, 2014

SAO PAULO (AP) — A Brazilian soccer team was ordered to play its next two home games in an empty stadium after a man was fatally struck on the head by a toilet bowl thrown from the stands during fan violence last weekend.

A sports tribunal also suspended all fan groups of the second-division club Santa Cruz from attending matches anywhere in Brazil until the person who threw the toilet bowl is turned over to authorities. The ruling was made Sunday and the federations were informed Monday.

Police said suspects were detained Monday for questioning but declined to say whether charges would be immediately filed. Brazilian media reported that a 23-year-old man allegedly confessed to throwing one of the toilets. He reportedly said two other fans helped him, but it wasn't clear if they were also detained.

Santa Cruz's Arruda Stadium had already been closed by the Brazilian soccer federation Saturday, a day after the 26-year-old fan was killed in the fighting in the 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. "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."

Brazil Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo told the government's official Agencia Brasil news service that the police must find the person responsible person and make an arrest.

"To imagine that someone will go to a football stadium and rip a toilet bowl to throw it at someone ... what is this?" he said.

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