RIO DE JANEIRO - Celebrations to mark
Brazilian football giants Corinthians 100th birthday on Wednesday
were grimly overshadowed when a 21-year-old woman was run over
by the club's official bus as it left the party.
The woman, identified as Amanda Ferraz Geremias, died in
hospital, according to a police report, leaving club officials
"This was a very big tragedy," club president Andres
Sanchez was quoted as saying on the website of the daily Folha
de Sao Paulo, adding that the club would do all
it could to help the woman's family.
The incident punctured what was to be a joyous occasion for
the club which boasts an estimated 26 million fans and marked
their birthday with the promise of their own stadium in time
for the 2014 World Cup.
The announcement of a new stadium was the high point of the
team's centenary celebrations, which included Brazilian
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attending an all-night
party on Tuesday with thousands of fans.
The venue, to be called 'Fielzao' ('Big Faithful') as a
tribute to the club's fans, known as 'the faithful', will have
a capacity of 48,000 which could be increased to 65,000 if
chosen for the World Cup's opening match.
"The biggest gift to the fans will be this blasted
stadium," said an emotional Sanchez. "Now we'll have our own
Although they are the most popular club in Sao Paulo and
the second in Brazil after Flamengo, Corinthians are the only
one of Paulista's four major clubs without a home of their own.
Sao Paulo, Palmeiras and Santos have already enjoyed major
achievements in their stadiums, while Corinthians always
depended on playing at the municipal Pacaembu or the Morumbi
stadium of their arch-rivals, Sao Paulo.
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