Global news

Corinthians vow to fight crowd ban

February 23, 2013
By ESPN staff

Brazilian club Corinthians announced it will fight the crowd ban imposed by the South American governing body (CONMEBOL) following the tragic death of a 14-year-old in the club's Copa Libertadores match against San Jose.

 Corinthians fans
APPolice stand guard next to Corinthians fans during the San Jose clash

CONMEBOL released a statement on Thursday banning all Corinthians supporters from the club's remaining Libertadores games after teenager Kevin Beltran Espada was struck by a flare thrown by a Brazilian supporter during the club's 1-1 draw in Bolivia. Espada later died due to head injuries.

But Corinthians have vowed to overturn the ban, believing the "unjust"' decision targets supporters who already purchased tickets for the Sao Paulo based club's remaining matches.

"Corinthians assesses that the punishment imposed is unjust, in that it directly undermines the right of innocents," a Corinthians statement read. "As it hurts not only the club, but mainly over 80,000 fans who will lose the right to attend matches, already bought in advance, and they do not deserve such punishment.

"The directors of Corinthians makes it clear that it relies on CONMEBOL's common sense and their disciplinary bodies to provide justice."

On top of forcing Corinthians to play behind closed doors, CONMEBOL has also rescinded the club's away ticket allocation and ordered them to refund or exchange all ticket sold.

The punishment will be in place until the conclusion of an investigation into Espada's deaths, which is expected to take up to 60 days.