UK & World News
Brazil: Football Fans In Violent Clashes
At least three people have been seriously injured after a fight in the stands at a football match in Brazil.
Riot police fired rubber bullets to stop hundreds of supporters charging each other, before a helicopter landed on the pitch to airlift those hurt to hospital.
Play was halted for more than an hour in the Brazilian championship match between Atletico Paranaense and relegation-threatened Vasco da Gama.
Television pictures from the southern city of Joinville showed at least two fans being kicked and stamped on by a mob of rival supporters.
At one point, a group of around 20 Paranaense fans could be seen kicking a man who was lying on the ground.
A Paranaense fan was attacked in a similar manner by Vasco supporters, with one stamping on his neck and head, even though he already appeared to be unconscious.
There were no police inside the stadium at kick-off as a private security firm was being used, and pictures showed rival fans in the half-empty venue were not segregated.
Before the match resumed, Vasco da Gama goalkeeper Alessandro told Brazilian television: "For a country that is hosting the World Cup next year this is very sad.
"The stadium isn't safe. We're a bit worried."
The game was held in the small Arena Joinville because Paranaense's ground is being modernised to host four matches in the World Cup.
Reports in Brazil said the three people taken to hospital were in a serious, but not life-threatening condition.
Paranaense, who were ahead 1-0 at the time, went on to win 5-1, condemning former South American champions Vasco to relegation.
Paranaense finished third to qualify for next year's†Libertadores Cup.
The incidents completely overshadowed the rest of the final day of the Brazilian championship during which Vasco's Rio de Janeiro neighbours Fluminense were also relegated.
They became the first defending champions to be relegated the following season, despite a 2-1 win over Bahia in their final game.
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