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Brazil to play Bolivia as tribute to dead boy

Posted on Mar 15, 10:56AM | IANS

Rio de Janeiro, March 14 : Brazil and Bolivia will play a friendly football match to honour a 14-year-old fan killed by a flare in a Copa Libertadores match last month.

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said Wednesday that proceeds from the April 6 match in Santa Cruz de la Sierra would be donated to the family of Kevin Beltran Espada, who died during San Jose's 1-1 draw with Corinthians Feb 20, reports Xinhua.

"They will go, play and come back on the same day. It's a sacrifice but they will do it to show sporting solidarity, not just on behalf of the CBF but from the Brazilian people," CBF president Jose Maria Marin said.

Twelve fans of Sao Paulo-based Corinthians are still under arrest in the Bolivian city of Oruro after being charged with homicide by local police. A 17-year-old Brazilian has turned himself in to the authorities after admitting to letting off the flare.

The fixture will feature South American-based players only as it is not an official FIFA fixture.

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said the match, apart from paying the tribute to the boy, would provide his team with a chance to fine-tune preparations for June's Confederations Cup in Brazil.

"It's always important to be able to bring the national team together," Scolari said.

"This will give more players, who up to now have not had the opportunity, the chance to be watched."