Corinthians says teenager's death was an accident

Published:

SAO PAULO (AP) -- The president of Brazilian club Corinthians says the death of a 14-year-old boy during its match in Bolivia was "an accident" and the team and its fans are not to be blamed.

Bolivian Kevin Beltran was killed after being hit in the face by a flare apparently thrown by someone in the Corinthians fan section during a Copa Libertadores match on Wednesday, prompting the arrest of 12 Corinthians fans in the city of Oruro.

Team president Mario Gobbi said on Thursday he doesn't think Corinthians or its fans should be blamed for the boy's death, calling the incident "a fatality."

The South American football federation says it will investigate.

Brazil Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo released a statement calling the fan violence "unacceptable" and asking for "exemplary punishment for those responsible" for the death.