A 23-year-old Palmeiras fan from Brazil passed away on Monday after being struck in the neck by a glass bottle during a fight between Palmeiras and Flamengo supporters before their game on Saturday.
The incident occurred while Gabriela Anelli was waiting to enter the Allianz Parque stadium in Sao Paulo. Despite being rushed to a medical center in critical condition, she unfortunately succumbed to her injuries two days later.
“Thanks to everyone who prayed for my sister, but she went to live with the father in heaven,” her brother, Felipe Anelli, said on Instagram.
Ednaldo Rodrigues, president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), announced that a moment of silence will be held during all matches in the 15th round of the Brazilian championship to pay tribute to Anelli. Rodrigues also mentioned that they have been collaborating with the federal government and other relevant organizations to address the issue of fan violence.
“Football is passion and not a space for the action of criminals infiltrating the fans to practise all kinds of violence,” he said in a statement.
In the midst of the confrontation, law enforcement officers were also assaulted with glass bottles and resorted to using pepper spray in an attempt to regain control. The spray permeated the stadium, causing the referee to halt the game on two occasions during the first half as the players experienced discomfort in their eyes and nose.
“We cannot accept that a 23-year-old girl should be the victim of barbarism in an environment that should be one of entertainment. We express our solidarity with the family of the Palmeiras girl and demand a speedy investigation into this crime,” Palmeiras said on social media.
“On an occasion that should have been a purely sporting dispute, a young woman lost her life in a barbaric and unjustifiable manner that deserves to be punished with rigour,” Flamengo posted on Twitter.
On Monday, a spokesperson from the Department of Strategic Police Operations announced that the individual who threw the bottle has been apprehended and will face charges for committing deliberate murder.