Rio de Janeiro, April 14 (IANS) South America’s football governing body Conmebol has absolved Corinthians of responsibility for the death of a 14-year-old fan killed by a firework during a Copa Libertadores match in February.
Corinthians’ legal spokesman Luiz Alberto Bussab said Conmebol had written to the club following a six-week investigation into the incident, reports Xinhua.
“In the text Conmebol says that Corinthians are not responsible for the death. The club has objective responsibility for its fans but not for the death,” Bussab said.
Kevin Espada died when he was struck in the face by a flare allegedly launched by a Corinthians fan during the Brazilian club’s 1-1 away draw with Bolivia’s San Jose. Conmebol originally banned Corinthians fans from attending home and away matches for the rest of the 2013 Copa Libertadores.
The penalty was, last month, changed to one home match behind closed doors, a $200,000 fine and an 18-month ban on the club’s supporters for away matches. Bussab said the Sao Paulo outfit had appealed the away fan prohibition.
“Given the ruling regarding the club’s objective responsibility, the club has already paid the penalty by playing a match behind closed doors and paying the fun,” Bussab said.
Twelve Corinthians fans remain in custody in the Bolivian city of Oruro, with two of them charged with homicide.