Fans stormed the pitch in stoppage time of the second-half to confront the Palmeiras side – who were beating Sao Paulo 1-0 at the time, with footage showing the referee holding the weapon.
Um “torcedor” invadiu o campo munido de uma faca nos minutos finais de São Paulo x Palmeiras, na Arena Barueri. pic.twitter.com/PuCiF39w9J
— Ritmo de Torcida (@ritmodetorcida) January 23, 2022
In the video, players can be seen trying to push the fans away, while members of the Sao Paulo team are trying to speak to the group on the pitch in an attempt to defuse the situation.
Police originally believed the weapon had been brought onto the pitch by a pitch invading fan, however the video instead proved that the knife had been thrown onto the pitch and was handed over to the referee by Palmeiras left-back, Ian.
As per the Daily Mail, Cesar Saad, the DRADE (Police Station for Repression of the Crimes of Sports Intolerance) officer said:
“In stoppage time, two fans invaded the pitch, one of them went up and physically attacked a Palmeiras athlete, and the second fan was contained by the São Paulo players themselves.
“At the same moment, some objects were thrown into the field. After a lot of analysis, listening to referees and athletes, we realised along with the other objects, the knife was thrown on the field. Initially we thought one of the fans would have invaded to try to attack a Palmeiras player with this knife.
“It is obvious that it is up to the Civil Police to find out how this knife ended up inside the stadium, who did the search, how it was done, which gate the fan entered. Everything will be investigated by the police. It looks like the knife is inside a lunch box and when it is thrown, it opens and the knife jumps out.
“This was shown to the Palmeiras athletes, to the Palmeiras football director who saw the images at the police station and everyone could see that the fans who invaded the pitch, who are being punished by the Civil Police, were not in possession of this knife.”
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