Rio de Janeiro: With 42 fans dead during ten years of football violence, Brazil tops the world's tragic list, according to a study.
The study's authors said on Sunday that the numbers were of major concern, especially with Brazil's role as host to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The study included deaths that occurred in or around the stadium during violent clashes with other fans, said Mauricio Murad of the University of the State of Rio de Janeiro. The study, called A Sad, Perverse Achievement, covered the time frame from1999 to 2008.
"As we began the study, Brazil was in third place in comparison to other countries. Italy topped the list, followed by Argentina and Brazil," Murad said on Sunday in an interview with the state news agency Agencia Brazil.
Ten years after the study began, Brazil leads the list. The violence is according to Murad a major concern for the country, especially with its role in 2014. Public security is a major issue at the World Cup events.
One reason for the disturbing trend is that Brazil in the past has failed to enact laws to address violence between rival fan groups, the scientists said.
Italy had taken such reform steps, the authors noted.
"In Brazil, there has unfortunately been insufficient substantive reactions," he said.
He said it was unsettling that the number of dead has climbed in the course of the years.
On average, 4.2 Brazilian fans were killed every year over the ten-year period. Between 2004 and 2008, the average was 5.6 deaths per year, and in 2007 and 2008, there were seven killed each year.
"The violence in football is growing because overall violence in the country is increasing. Violence is on the increase because of lack of punishment for crimes and corruption," Murad charged.
The study was based on newspaper and other media reports, which were later confirmed by court forensics specialists and police officials.