Soccer-Corinthians arena vandalised hours before city derby

SAO PAULO, July 22 (Reuters) - Vandals broke into the Corinthians stadium and painted slogans on one of the goalposts and the pitch on Wednesday, hours before they were due to face arch-rivals Palmeiras on the first day of action in the restarted Sao Paulo state championship.

One post was daubed with a slogan and the six-yard box painted with the scoreline “8x0”, Palmeiras’s record victory over their opponents.

The slogan was done in green paint, the colours of Palmeiras.

Corinthians blamed their rivals’ fans and said the club had filed a police report and offered CCTV footage to help identify the culprits.

“Corinthians lament the actions of Palmeiras vandals who invaded the Corinthians Arena on Wednesday morning with the sole objective of damaging the installations,” Corinthians said in a statement.

Palmeiras did not comment.

The match is scheduled to kick off at 9:30 pm Brazil time, one of eight games taking place on Wednesday and Thursday in a restarted Sao Paulo state championship.

The competition is due to begin after a four-month hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Reporting by Andrew Downie, editing by Ed Osmond