BUENOS AIRES - Rioting fans caused an
Argentine championship match to be abandoned on Sunday amid
reports that a fan had died in clashes outside the stadium
before the game.
The Velez Sarsfield v San Lorenzo match was halted when
visiting fans broke down the fencing around the pitch and Velez
goalkeeper Pablo Migliore was hit by a missile thrown from the
Referee Sergio Pezzota led the teams off the field and
abandoned the match, telling reporters his decision was due to
"lack of security."
Media reports said that around 160 San Lorenzo fans clashed
with police outside the stadium and that one supporter died from
a heart attack.
Other versions said the victim had been kicked by a police
The Velez v San Lorenzo fixture is considered high risk and
local authorities have banned the presence of away fans at
However, this was lifted for Sunday's game at the request of
the two club presidents.
"Obviously, we made a mistake and the message is that we
can't do this," Velez president Fernando Raffaini told the Telam
"I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart and there are
situations which surprise me and leave me speechless."
Almost three years ago to the day, a match between the two
at San Lorenzo's stadium was abandoned before kick-off in almost
A 21-year-old Velez fan was shot dead on his way to the game
and when the club's supporters heard the news in the stadium,
they broke down the fencing and invaded the pitch.
Argentine football is plagued by violence involving hardcore
fans known as "barras bravas."
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