Forum Spin Doctor
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - Police used clubs and fired rubber bullets at rioting soccer fans who fought in Belo Horizonte before the start of the game between rivals Cruzeiro and Atletico Mineiro.
Fighting broke out when members of the Atletico fan club Galocoura and Cruzeiro's Mafia Azul encountered each other outside the stadium, more than 200 miles north of Rio.
Police Col. Renato Vieira de Souza, quoted on the Web site of the soccer great Pele, said there was "tremendous turmoil."
"We had to use force. Rubber bullets were fired. Some fans were hurt and arrested. They're getting first aid and being taken to the police station."
Police expected 80,000 to attend a pre-Carnival warmup before the game, and Souza said police would remain deployed into the night.
Atletico, in last place, rallied to defeat Cruzeiro 3-1. It was Cruzeiro's first loss in four games, although the team remains in first place. Atletico won Brazil's first national championship in 1971, and Cruzeiro won the title in 2003.