SAO PAULO: The negative face of Brazilian football reared its ugly head again at the weekend as street protests against the World Cup were followed by the murder of a Santos fan by Sao Paulo FC supporters writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Police sources have said that Márcio Barreto de Toledo, a 34-year-old member of Santos, was waiting at a bus stop to go home after a goalless draw between the clubs at the Morumbi stadium.

Two cars containing hooligans wearing Sao Paulo shirts stopped and attacked him with iron bars. He was taken to the Hospital Municipal de Tatuape where he was declared dead two hours later.

“This was a terrible, cowardly act,” said Cosme Damiao Freitas, president of Santos’ Torcida Jovem group. He said the dead man left a five-month-old son.

Last Friday night police in Sao Paulo, which will host the World Cup’s Opening Match in June, reported 230 arrests after the latest anti-World Cup street protests.

Several thousand opponents of government expenditure on facilities for the finals took to central squares until being dispersed by the use of tear gas. Several journalists were among those detained. Five police personnel and two of the arrested demonstrators needed hospital treatment.