SAO PAULO (AP) — A second-division match in Brazil was stopped in the second half after fans disappointed with their team's performance threw rocks and explosives onto the pitch, marking the latest case of fan violence for the 2014 World Cup host.
The protests in the northern city of Belem began just after Avai scored in the 75th minute to take a 2-0 lead against home side Paysandu on Friday. After a few minutes, the referee decided it was not safe to continue as police tried to regain control.
There were no reports of serious injuries. Police said some Paysandu supporters were detained.
Last week, seats were destroyed at a World Cup venue and police confronted fans inside two different stadiums. Two matches were delayed two weeks ago because of fan fighting and overcrowded stands.
Paysandu fans began throwing rocks toward Avai reserve players just after the visitors scored their second goal at Curuzu Stadium. The reserve players ran onto the pitch to get away from the sideline where the fans were throwing things at them, prompting the referee to interrupt the match and call for police help.
The ref tried to continue the match after police temporarily controlled the situation behind the bench, but the problem escalated when fans behind one of the goals also began throwing rocks and explosives onto the field.
Local media said even oranges were thrown at players, and television images showed one bomb being thrown from the stands and exploding just a few meters (feet) from a group of police officers on the pitch. A few fans tried to break the fences separating them from the field.
Police used pepper spray and batons against the fans in the stands, but it was not enough. Referee Grazianni Maciel Rocha talked to authorities and decided to end the game, giving Avai the 2-0 win.
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