A 17-year-old soccer fan from Bolivia has confessed to setting off a flare during a match, killing a 14-year-old boy.
The teenager, who wishes to be known only by his initials H.A.M., was supporting his favorite team, the Corinthians. According to Wikipedia, the victim was a fan of rival team San José.
The incident occurred on Wednesday, February 20, at the Jesus Bermudez stadium in Oruro, Bolivia. The 28,000-person facility was hosting the Corinthians – San José match, as part of the Copa Libertadores championship.
The flare was thrown out into the crowd during halftime, when Corinthians supporters celebrated their team scoring a goal during the first half of the game. The match continued, ending in a 1-1 draw, writes Australian News.
The death of the young boy was only made public when the soccer event ended. While the alleged culprit was able to leave the stadium, several Corinthians fans were taken into custody and questioned regarding the flare.
Police in Oruro detained twelve fans in connection to the accident, and arrested two of them on homicide charges.
In his statement, H.A.M claims he hasn't come forward until now because he fears legal consequences. He adds that his confession is motivated by the police arresting other men for his crime.
“First of all I want to say sorry not only to the family of Kevin, but to all the guys who were arrested. [...] I feel like the worst person in the world. I bitterly regret what I did.
“I am not protecting anybody. I only want to assume responsibility for what I did because it's not right that others pay the price for something they didn't do,” H.A.M admits.
He is set to appear in Guarulhos city juvenile court, attorney Ricardo Cabral explains. Meanwhile, a decision by South American soccer authority Conmebol forces the Corinthians to play their next Copa Libertadores home matches with no spectators.