Eight men have been killed at a football fan club in Brazil’s biggest city, Sao Paulo, police say.They said the supporters of the Corinthians club were preparing banners ahead of a match when gunmen burst in.
The attackers ordered seven fans to lie down before shooting them. The eighth man was hit as he tried to flee.
Police say the killings at the Pavilhao Nove supporters’ group were likely to be drug related.
Witnesses say three gunmen stormed into the makeshift club in a working class suburb of Sao Paulo late on Saturday.
The victims were having a barbecue as they prepared for Corinthians’ next match.
Sao Paulo police suggested the Pavilhao Nove group may have had links to criminal gangs, saying the killings were probably more to do with a dispute over drugs trafficking than with football.
“Through witnesses, we are already exploring a line of investigation, which is not leading us to believe it was caused by fan rivalry,” detective Arlindo Jose Negrao was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.
Violence in Brazilian football is a growing problem both directly and indirectly, with supporters of teams in several major cities using their club allegiances to organise criminal activity outside the stadiums, the Dailyreleased Wyre Davies reports from Rio de Janeiro.