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Police say Brazil coach Scolari's nephew killed in car crash, 2 days before World Cup opener

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SAO PAULO - The 48-year-old nephew of Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has been killed in a car accident just two days before the team's World Cup opener, police said Tuesday.

Highway police in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul said businessman Tarcisio Joao Schneider, the son of one of Scolari's sisters, died in a crash Tuesday morning.

Officer Carlos Borges told The Associated Press in a phone interview that the car Schneider was driving collided head-on with a truck on the opposite lane.

The Brazilian football federation was yet to confirm the information. It wasn't clear whether Scolari would leave the team's training camp outside Rio de Janeiro to travel back home.

Brazil plays Croatia in Sao Paulo on Thursday. The coach's official media conference is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at the Itaquerao stadium.

Last month, Scolari had to leave the training camp to attend the funeral of one of his brothers-in-law.

Scolari took charge of Brazil's training session on Tuesday afternoon. Before the session, some players hugged and talked to him briefly, including midfielder Oscar, defender David Luiz and striker Fred.

Highway police spokesman Alessandro Castro said the accident happened at about 11 a.m. local time (1400 GMT) near the city of Passo Fundo. He said it appeared Schneider lost control of his car and veered into oncoming traffic. He was alone in the vehicle. The truck driver was not seriously injured.

He said Schneider's relatives confirmed that he is one of the nephews of Brazil's national team coach. Documents found in the car also helped confirm it.

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