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Former Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho trained in Flamengo's ground where fatal fire killed 10

File photo of Ronaldinho. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 10, 2019, 06.17 PM (IST)

Former Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho used to train in the Flamengo's training centre where a fire tragically killed players aged between 14 and 16 years old on Friday. 

Brazilian football was in mourning after 10 people died when the fire ripped through a youth training facility at the country's most popular club, Flamengo. 

Flamengo chief executive Reinaldo Belotti said, "I just wanted to remind everybody that that training ground (Ninho do Urubu) was used by several professional Flamengo teams, also well-known players like Ronaldinho Gaucho, Vagner Love and the Brazilian Olympic team used it too. 

Flamengo defended its management of the training ground as Belotti said, "Flamengo did a maintenance checking in all air conditioning units. We have this documented for anyone who would like to see it." 

Belotti said that the club is working closely with authorities 'to clarify what happened'. 

Also Read: Mum's call saved me: 15-year-old had narrow escape from Brazil's Flamengo fire

The blaze ripped through sleeping quarters at the Ninho do Urubu complex in western Rio de Janeiro. 

With questions being raised over licensing, Belotti stated to journalists: "we are not talking about a 'puxadinho' (illegal building), we are talking about a proper training ground." 

There were reports that stated that Rio de Janeiro's city hall has fined Flamengo 31 times because of infractions at the Ninho do Urubu training ground, which had to be closed in October 2017. 

However, The club did not pay 21 of those fines and the current permit issued for the grounds is valid until 8th March. 

Family members and fans of Rio de Janeiro football club Flamengo placed flowers at a makeshift memorial outside the club's training centre on Saturday. 

Story highlights

'Well-known players like Ronaldinho Gaucho, Vagner Love and the Brazilian Olympic team used it too,' said Flamengo chief executive Reinaldo Belotti.