Rio de Janeiro, Feb 23 — Corinthians have appealed a decision by South American football’s governing body Conmebol, forcing the club to play its Copa Libertadores matches without any spectators.
In a statement released Friday night, Corinthians denied responsibility for Wednesday’s death of 14-year-old Bolivian fan Kevin Beltran, who was struck by a flare allegedly thrown by fans of the Brazilian outfit, reports Xinhua.
“Now we are going to wait. We hope that on Monday Conmebol can give us a response,” Corinthians lawyer Luiz Alberto Bussab said.
Bolivian police have charged two Corinthians fans with homicide and 10 others with being accessories to the crime, which occurred during the defending champions’ 1-1 draw with San Jose in the Bolivian city of Oruro.
Prosecutor Abigail Saba confirmed the supporters were being investigated for “a crime with the death of a minor” following the visiting team’s first-half goal. Earlier, Conmebol said Corinthians fans would be prohibited from attending home and away matches for the remainder of the 2013 Copa Libertadores tournament, which finishes in July.
“Corinthians have been sanctioned so that all their home matches are played behind closed doors in the Libertadores. In addition, clubs playing at home against Corinthians have been prohibited from selling tickets for Corinthians’ fans. That is to say, their fans won’t be able to see the matches at all,” Conmebol spokesman Nestor Benitez said.
The Sao Paulo club has declared a week of mourning and said players would wear black armbands for the next two matches in a mark of respect for the victim.