Ferj (Football Federation of the State of Rio de Janeiro) says it warned about the risks in the game between Brazil and Argentina, held on Tuesday night (21) at Maracanã. In a meeting on November 16, the federation classified the match as a red flag on the risk scale. The organization states, however, that the warning was ignored by the CBF (Brazilian Football Confederation).
A fight between fans delayed the start of the game. The confusion occurred in the lower southern sector and began during the Argentine anthem, played before the Brazilian one. According to reports from those at the stadium, Brazilian fans booed while the song was performed.
There was no division between fans in the sector, despite the historical rivalry between Brazilians and Argentines. Photos and videos of the confusion show people bleeding from the face and head after a confrontation with police.
In total, 17 people were taken to the Fan and Major Events Court in Maracanã, as reported by the Rio Court. They signed an agreement to pay a fine for causing a disturbance and committing contempt, resistance, theft, among other crimes. .
According to the Court of Justice, only one fan, Roberto Jefferson Gomes Peixoto, was punished with a precautionary measure of removal from the stadiums and appearance in court. The report has not yet been able to locate his defense.
An Argentine fan was also arrested on suspicion of racial slur for calling a woman a “piece of monkey”. On the morning of this Wednesday (22), the court ordered the preventive detention of Maria Belen Mautecci. A Sheet he was also unable to contact her lawyers.
The meeting in which Ferj warned about the risks of the match was attended by, in addition to the CBF, representatives of the Maracanã Consortium, which administers the state, the Public Ministry, the Military Police, the Secretariat of Public Order, the Municipal Guard, of the Public Defender’s Office, the Fans’ Court and other public bodies responsible for the Maracanã area. The minutes of this meeting were first released by ESPN and confirmed by Sheet.
This type of meeting is common to define the organization and security of the game. However, according to the state federation, the flag alert was not taken seriously by the authorities present.
The day after the meeting, the president of Ferj, Rubens Lopes da Costa Filho, issued statements to the Public Ministry, the Special Supporter’s Court and the Maracanã Consórcio stating that any questions about the game between Brazil and Argentina should be directed directly to the CBF. Since then, says the federation, the organization has not participated in any further conversations about the match.
“We hereby inform you that the Football Federation of the State of Rio de Janeiro did not receive any assignment from the Brazilian Football Confederation in order to carry out any activity or function relating to the organization/operationalization of the match”, says the statement sent by the president of Ferj.
He adds: “In the case in question, all operational, security, tax, financial and any other responsibility lies solely and directly with the CBF.”
The CBF, in turn, stated that the operational plan for the match was approved without any reservations or recommendations in a meeting held last Monday (20), in which representatives from Consórcio Maracanã, PM, Conmebol and other companies that operate in the stadium. Ferj did not participate in this meeting.
Initially, the CBF had said that the organization of Maracanã was the responsibility of the consortium that manages the stadium. Then, in a statement released this morning, he said that “the planning for the match was carried out carefully and strategically by the CBF, together and in constant dialogue with all competent public bodies, especially the Military Police of the State of Rio de Janeiro.”
The confederation also stated that the mixed crowd was known to the PM and other public authorities and that it is the “standard in competitions organized by FIFA and Conmebol”.
The CBF note also mentions the meeting on the 16th, in which Ferj participated and warned about the red flag. The confederation, however, does not talk about the risks that were highlighted. Regarding the state federation’s allegations, the body states that they are political statements made by a group opposed to the current management of the CBF.
The Maracanã Consortium and the Public Ministry have not yet responded about the meetings and the lack of division among the fans, despite the risk warning. Municipal bodies stated that their activities are limited to the surroundings of the stadium and that they do not manage what happens inside Maracanã.
The PM, in turn, said that the lack of division of fans was due to the sale of tickets without distinction, which was defined by the organization of the event.
In a new position released on Wednesday afternoon, the Military Police reported that they were only informed that there would be no fan division at the meeting on the 16th. The corporation adds that, on that date, ticket sales had already started and the tickets were exhausted.
“On the 16th, all tickets had already been sold. It is important to point out that, initially, sales to Argentine fans were directed to the south sector of the stadium [local onde ocorreu o confronto entre torcedores]. However, the sector ended up being released to all fans, transforming the area, which should have been restricted, into a mixed stand”, said the PM, in a statement.
Rubens Lopes, president of Ferj, is also vice-president of the CBF. He, however, has a conflictual relationship with the current president of the confederation, Ednaldo Rodrigues.
When choosing the president of the CBF, in March last year, Lopes gave his support to Rodrigues, who at the time already held the position on an interim basis. They, however, broke off the relationship and, since then, the president of Ferj has taken a stance against the CBF and criticized the former ally’s management, calling it centralizing.
The wing linked to Rodrigues claims that Lopes wanted to take over the operation of the game at Maracanã, instead of the consortium that manages the stadium, to benefit Ferj with tickets and positions to organize the match.