One of Brazil’s biggest football matches was called off minutes before the start of the day on Saturday after two Gremio players were injured when fans attacked the team bus as it was on its way to the stadium to meet rivals Internacional.
Gremio withdrew from the match between the two biggest clubs in Porto Alegre at the Per-Rio Stadium Internacional, known as the Grinal Summit, after stones smashed the bus windows and injured players.
Gremio published pictures of Matthias Biasanti being taken to hospital by ambulance. He also posted pictures of the bus’s smashed windows, as well as a boulder larger than a fist that the club said had injured the Paraguayan midfielder.
Gremio said: “After the cowardly aggression that our team was subjected to, we have informed the Gaucha Football Federation of our decision not to play the Grenelle Summit match on Saturday.”
He added: In addition to the technical defect and the absence of a sporting atmosphere due to this criminal act, Gremio’s decision also shows our rejection of all kinds of violence.
Internacional said it rejected violence and added that two suspects had been arrested.
Gremio later said Biasanti, 25, was being treated for concussion and skull trauma. The Paraguayan player is also being treated for injuries to his face, and will spend the night in the hospital for further observation, and no fractures have been discovered.
This is the second time in three days that a bus carrying a Brazilian team has been attacked while heading to a match, after Bahia players were injured ahead of Thursday’s match against Sampaio Correa in Salvador.
The Porto Alegre incident occurred on the same night that fans with metal bars stormed the stadium and attacked Paraná players, leading to the suspension of their match against Uniao Beltrao in Curitiba.
About five minutes before the end of the state championship game, Paraná was 3-1 down, a result that would send him to the second division.
Videos showed angry fans punching players who responded with kung fu kicks while other fans poured onto the pitch to join the fight.
Players from both teams eventually managed to run into the dressing rooms while the police fired stun grenades and forced the fans out of the stadium.