Madness and magic from Maradona’s motherland
Two young fans killed in seperate incidents, bringing the total number of football violence related deaths to 224.
This has been a sad, sad weekend for Argentinian football. Yet again, football, a sport meant to be enjoyed, has been marred by violence in several games and the deaths of two young supporters.
On Saturday afternoon, 21-year-old Emanuel Alvarez, a Velèz Sarsfield fan, was shot in the heart on his way to San Lorenzo's stadium.
The Velèz fans were in a convoy of 40 buses when they were ambushed by what was thought to be a barra brava linked to San Lorenzo. As is common in Argentina, the fan groups travel with a police escort, flying through red lights and intersections. The buses were shot at and Emanuel Alvarez caught in the crossfire, while passing Huracán's training centre.
The teams left the changing rooms at 4.45 for the 5pm kick off unaware, but as soon as the referee blew his whistle to start, Velèz fans, who had been attacked, arrived and tore down the barbed fence to stop the game.
Velèz players attempted to calm down the group and the game was suspended. The players returned to the changing room, with defender Mariano Uglessich in tears. It is thought the fan was well known to the team.
The barra brava of Velèz returned to the team's training centre to organise their revenge, however, their efforts were scuppered by police.
Director of security at Velèz, Eduardo Capucheti claims that the death was not related to the barra bravas but 'very bad luck' – he claims it was the act of one person outside Huracán's training centre. Another witness claimed the murderer was wearing a San Lorenzo shirt.
Whatever the truth, Alvarez is the 224th fan to be killed in Argentinian football.
Meanwhile, a 17-year-old girl was murdered in the northern Argentinian province of Salta. She was with her boyfriend and other fans of Central Norte, to watch the lower division derby against Gimnasia y Tiro.
Witnesses say she was shot in the head by someone from a fan group of the opposing team. Police, however, are not treating it as a battle between barra bravas.
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