SAO PAULO: Seats in the Itaquera stadium which hosted the Opening Match of the World Cup were ripped out and smashed by angry fans attending its first derby since the finals writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Security services had already been on alert for the clash between hosts Corinthians at which thousands of visiting Palmeiras fans defied instructions not to wear their green team colours.
For much of the match the electronic scoreboard showed only the home team’s badge and not that of Palmeiras. This was later attributed to a “technical fault.”
Corinthians won the Brazilian national championship match by 2-0. Victory was was dedicated, by coach Mano Menezes, to old World Cup-winning hero Roberto Rivellino. Corinthians remained second in the table, five points adrift of Cruzeiro. Palmeiras, whose defeat could prompt the sacking of coach Ricardo Gareca, are becalmed at 12th in the 20-club league.
The final whistle prompted taunting from the Corinthians fans to which Palmeiras supporters responded by pulling out and throwing the seats. A stadium official said later that it was impossible as yet to count the number of damaged seats or the cost.
However Corinthians would expect the Palmeiras club to meet the bill for repairs.
The Arena Corinthians was built new for the World Cup after political wrangling ruled out the redevelopment of the local Morumbi stadium. It hosted six matches at the World Cup including Brazil’s opening 3-1 victory over Croatia and the semi-final in which Argentina defeated Holland on penalties.