How banning fans in Goiás turned into a legal dispute

Corinthians fans were almost banned from watching the game at Serrinha stadium, tomorrow (15), against Goiás, for the 32nd round of the Brasileirão. The local Public Ministry recommended a single crowd for this match, which would prohibit Corinthians from attending, but the club got yesterday (13) a favorable injunction in the STJD (Superior Court of Sports Justice).

The dispute began last week, when the MPGO (Public Ministry of the State of Goiás) argued that the Goiás and Corinthians fans “have a history of great rivalry” and recommended a ban on visitors to “avoid acts of violence”. The local Public Security Secretariat reinforced the request, the CBF (Brazilian Football Confederation) accepted the recommendation, and last Tuesday (11) the Goiás club opened the sale of tickets only to its fans.

Corinthians then called the STJD to try to count on its supporters at the Goiás stadium, even though the decision came at the last minute. And that’s what happened yesterday, around 9 pm (Brasília time), less than 48 hours before the ball rolled in Goiânia, at 7 pm tomorrow.

The injunction made Corinthians celebrate that “the Faithful is released” in the match. Summoned by the STJD to “release the ticket load claimed by the visiting club”, today Goiás informed that the visitors’ tickets will be on sale tomorrow, at the box office of the game’s stadium.

“We joined the STJD because we understand it is not fair. Corinthians played here [em São Paulo] with the supporters of Goiás present”, argued the alvinegro president, Duílio Monteiro Alves, hours before the assent. “This week, Palmeiras played against Atlético-GO [segunda-feira, dia 10] in the same Goiânia and allowed Palmeiras fans, so it makes no sense to ban Corinthians fans. Fans who live in the area wait all year to see the team.”

On the field, Corinthians will try to take advantage of the bad phase of Goiás, which has not won for six rounds. Alvinegro is in third place and can take an important step to guarantee a spot in the next Libertadores, but it does not hide that the priority of the week is the final of the Copa do Brasil against Flamengo, on Wednesday (19), and for that reason it should use practically reserve team in Goiânia.

The decision of the STJD

The injunction issued by the president of the STJD, Otávio Noronha, makes Goiás responsible for ensuring the safety of the fans, as they are the principal of the match. The decision avoids what he calls an “imbalance to the competition”, after all, the match in the first round had both fans.

“What cannot be allowed is that, at this point, irreparable damage to the balance of the tournament and the performance of the visiting club can be done. [Corinthians]due to the fact that the home club [Goiás] not having adopted the necessary measures, in order, if necessary, to transfer the match to a stadium that seemed more suitable”, understands Noronha in the decision.

Why the MP wanted a single crowd

The Goiás Public Ministry based its recommendation mainly on the fight that took place on June 19, in the middle of Marginal Tietê (west zone of São Paulo), when members of the organized supporters of the two clubs clashed on the day of the game of the first round of this Brasileirão. (see video below).

One of the MPGO’s branches, the Special Action Group on Major Football Events (GFUT), argues that the fight “increased animosity among fans” and that a police investigation on social media identified threats of retaliation against Corinthians. The GFUT also says that, on July 27, in a game between Atlético-GO and Corinthians, in Goiânia, São Paulo fans’ buses were ambushed on the way to and from the stadium.

In addition to the history, the MPGO also argued that the surroundings of Serrinha make it difficult to have an effective security that keeps the Goiás and Corinthians fans apart. The explanation is that the stadium region would not allow exclusive access to visitors.

A recommendation from the Public Ministry does not have the force of a judicial determination, being only a guideline for other bodies to comply with certain legal provisions – in this case, the Fan Statute. However, even though he is not obliged to comply with the MP’s suggestion, all parties involved can be sued more easily if there is, in fact, any episode of violence between the fans in the match.

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