Two fans killed before 2014 World Cup test run at stadium in Brazil
FORTALEZA, BRAZIL (BDCi) — Two fans were shot to death in the city of Fortaleza while on their way to a match that served as a “test event” at a World Cup stadium.
The fans were killed about three miles from the Arena Castelao, raising security questions just two months before the north-eastern city hosts matches in the Confederations Cup and a year before it hosts the World Cup.
An official in charge of the World Cup preparations said that the deaths were not related to the test event at the Arena Castelao. “We lament what happened,” said Tiago Paes, a local World Cup organizing committee member who was present at the test event in Fortaleza. “But there is work being done by the police and the army in many areas of security, so we are not concerned with that for the Confederations Cup.”
The test event was a match between local rivals Ceara and Fortaleza, which was being used by local organizers to evaluate the venue. The victims, who were wearing Ceara jerseys, were shot in the head by opposing supporters at a local plaza. The attack appeared to be unprovoked as witnesses told police that the victims had just left a van and were walking from the plaza to the stadium when two Fortaleza fans opened fire on them from a motorcycle.
Authorities have managed to detain one suspect who was found near the plaza on a motorcycle carrying a gun. In addition to the murders, police have also detained more than 180 people for vandalism and disorderly conduct in the plaza before the match at Arena Caselao, which was completed in December and has hosted nearly 20 test events. Local organizers are planning on holding 10 more test events that will take place before the venue hosts its three Confederations Cup matches in June.
Despite the deaths and arrests, World Cup organizers said they were satisfied with Sunday’s test noting that the stadium’s sound and television system, cleaning services and crowd management were all up to par.
The world governing body has yet to make comments about the events in Fortaleza.