SAO PAULO (AP) — A Brazilian football club's fan group has been indefinitely banned from attending sports events because of its involvement in a brutal fight last year.
Members of the Vasco da Gama group Torcida Jovem are prohibited from entering stadiums, Rio de Janeiro Judge Antonio Augusto de Toledo Gaspar said.
The group had already been banned from football venues for a year, but the judge's ruling late Thursday eliminates the time limit and extends the ban to other events. He said members of the fan group were still "promoting fear and insecurity" inside stadiums despite the original ban.
Hundreds of Vasco fans fought with supporters of Atletico Paranaense in the final round of last year's Brazilian league, interrupting the match for about an hour and leaving four men seriously injured, including one who had to be airlifted from the pitch.
The ruling comes just days after a 34-year-old Santos fan was beaten to death by members of a Sao Paulo fan group following a high-profile match in the state championship last weekend.
Fan groups have been at the root of fan violence in Brazil, which is hosting the World Cup later this year, with confrontations in and outside stadiums becoming a common occurrence. Last year's Brazilian league was marked by brawls, and the fight involving Vasco supporters in the final round made headlines across the world.
Earlier this year, nearly 200 members of a Corinthians fan group invaded the team's training center to threaten players and demand better results.
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