Brazilian soccer’s image suffered a massive blow on Wednesday when the second-leg of the final of the Copa Sudamericana was abandoned in Sao Paulo after the visiting team, Argentine club Tigre, refused to take the field in the second half. Sao Paulo was leading 2-0 after the first half, and was subsequently awarded the title.
Tigre coach Nestor Gorosito declined to take his team back to the field for the second half because he said security officials had pulled guns on his players while others clubbed players and team officials. "Police entered and struck our players with clubs,'' Gorosito told Argentine television. ''They pulled two revolvers,'' he said. ''It was crazy. What happened was crazy.''
The violence at the Morumbi stadium in Sao Paulo is bad news for FIFA, which has already been frustrated by Brazil’s slow progress in preparing for the 2014 World Cup. However, up until this point, most of the global soccer governing body has been about infrastructure, not violence.