SAO PAULO – The president of the Brazilian club Corinthians says the death of a 14-year-old boy during its match in Bolivia was an accident and the team and its fans are not to be blamed.
Bolivian Kevin Beltran was killed after he was hit in the face by a flare apparently thrown by someone in the Corinthians fan section during a Copa Libertadores match on Wednesday. Twelve Corinthians fans were arrested in the city of Oruro.
Team President Mario Gobbi said Thursday he doesn't think Corinthians or its fans should be held responsible. The South American soccer federation says it will investigate.
Brazil Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo released a statement calling the fan violence "unacceptable" and asking for "exemplary punishment for those responsible" for the death.