Conmebol orders temporary closure of Gremio stadium

Rio De Janeiro, Feb 13: South American football’s governing body Conmebol has ordered Brazilian club Gremio to temporarily close a section of its stadium following last month’s accident that left five people in hospital.

Conmebol officials also revealed the Porto Alegre club had been fined $35,000 and warned Arena do Gremio would be shut indefinitely if a similar incident occurred in the next two years, reports Xinhua.

“The ruling obligates Gremio to close the northern section of the stadium where the stampede occurred,” Conmebol said in a statement.

The enforced closure only applies to the venue’s next Copa Libertadores fixture between Gremio and Chile’s Huachipato on Thursday.

The incident took place when fencing collapsed during Gremio’s Copa Libertadores qualifying victory over Liga de Quito on January 31.

The accident prompted Brazil’s football confederation (CBF) president Jose Maria Marin to concede action needed to be taken to ensure the safety of fans during next year’s FIFA World Cup.

The 61,000-capacity Arena do Gremio, which was inaugurated in December last year, will host an international friendly between Brazil and France, June 9.

IANS