Latin America

Argentina bans fans after death

Lanus fans leave the stands at halftime during the Argentine first division match on Monday.
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An Argentine soccer fan was killed and another was badly hurt during fighting between hooligan groups and riot police before a first division match in Argentina prompting the Argentine Football Association (AFA) to ban visiting fans from attending matches.

Upon hearing the news, match officials suspended the match between Estudiantes de La Plata and Lanus at halftime onat the Ciudad de La Plata Stadium near Buenos Aires on Monday night. Estudiantes president Enrique Lombardi confirmed the report once the match was cancelled.

“The police reported a (Lanus) supporter had died and in the face of this situation it was necessary to suspend the match,” said Lombardi. "It was a unanimous decision by both clubs... It was for humanitarian reasons."

According to multiple media reports, the fighting between supporters and police started before the Argentinian Clausura match kicked off. The man killed was identified as 38-year-old Daniel Jerez, who died from a gunshot after being rushed to a local hospital.

The fighting also sent one fan one to the hospital in serious condition.

"This violence doesn't come from football, it's a social problem," Estudiantes boss Mauricio Pellegrino said who returned to Argentina after spending 15 years in Spain and Argentina as a player and coach.

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"Football reflects the violence in society," added Pellegrino. "Football reflects the violence in society."

Lanus, who currently sit in third place with 29 points in 16 matches, were trailing Estudiantes 2-0 at halftime. Monday’s encounter was the second match suspended in three days after Saturday’s clash at Velez Sarsfield was marred by fan violence from visiting cub All Boys.

Since 2000, over 70 supporters have been killed in Argentina. Government officials, along with the Argentine Football Federation, seek strict restriction rules to put an end to fan violence nationwide.

"The measure will remain in place until the football authorities take action to curb violence in football," said regional security minister Ricardo Casal in a statement.


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