Palmeiras snatch draw after row over attack on player
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Palmeiras overcame an internal row, which started when one of their players was attacked by a group of fans, to snatch a 1-1 draw against Flamengo in the Brazilian championship.
Palmeiras' preparations for Wednesday night's game in Rio de Janeiro were disrupted after one of the players, Joao Vitor, was attacked by a group of the club's own fans following a training session on Tuesday.
The players said that Joao Vitor was attacked in front of the club shop and the team eventually flew to Rio on the morning of the game, having cancelled plans to travel the day before.
However, coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said after the game that striker Kleber, who clashed with the club directors over the way they handled the case, would not play again under his leadership.
"I can say that I'm continuing my work with Palmeiras," the former Brazil, Portugal and Chelsea coach told reporters after the game.
"As for Kleber, I can say that he doesn't want to play and I don't want him to play."
Scolari also suggested that Joao Vitor may have provoked the incident.
"He may have participated in such a way that the started the incident," he said.
"We have to clear up whether this happened the way the media said it did, with the supporters causing all the trouble."
Fifth-placed Flamengo, led by another former Brazil coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo, took the lead through Thiago Neves after halftime before Maikon Leite levelled for the visitors.
Scolari has had an difficult time following his return to Palmeiras last year, with the team a modest ninth in the Brazilian championship.
Corinthians stayed top with 51 points despite losing 2-0 at home to 10-man Botafogo, who moved within two points of their opponents, in another of Wednesday's games.
First-half goals from Uruguay striker Sebastian Abreu and Maicosuel, who scored with a deflected shot, gave the visitors the points despite having Bruno Cortes sent off on the hour.
Former Inter Milan and Brazil striker Adriano came on in the second half for his second Corinthians appearance but had little impact.
Botafogo are third with Vasco da Gama, on 50 points, sandwiched between in second place.
(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by John O'Brien; To comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org)