Flamengo great Zico questions club after deadly fire
Rio de Janeiro: Flamengo legend Zico criticised the Brazilian club’s administration for its management of the unlicensed facility where a fire claimed the lives of 10 youth academy players.
According to the city government, Flamengo received 31 fines — 21 of which were not paid — for permit irregularities related to the Ninho do Urubu training ground, reports Xinhua news agency.
The centre’s dormitory, which caught fire as 20 teenagers were sleeping there on February 8, was registered as a parking lot, according to city officials.
“If you’re fined 30 times, you can’t carry on as if nothing is wrong. Something has to be done,” Zico told Brazil’s SporTV on Sunday.
The 65-year-old former Brazil playmaker said the makeshift containers destroyed in the blaze were not suitable to be used as sleeping quarters.
“The youth academy needs planning in all areas so that tragedies like this don’t happen,” said Zico, who is currently the technical director of Kashima Antlers in Japan.
Zico’s comments came as the first funerals for the fire’s victims were held on Sunday.
Flamengo issued a statement early in the day in which it said air conditioners inside the complex were inspected on February 5. On Saturday, club CEO Reinaldo Belotti said the tragedy could have been caused by power surges resulting from wild storms that hit Rio de Janeiro a day earlier.