Cop shot in buttocks at soccer game

A policeman took a bullet in the buttocks during a shootout between fans of the same team ahead of a soccer game in Argentina, local newspaper La Capital reported Sunday.

The officer, Maximo Alegre, was shot when two hooligans reportedly fired between 10 to 12 shots from a motorbike at a rival faction of Newell’s Old Boys fans around 3.50pm local time Saturday.

The shooting forced the game against San Lorenzo at Newell’s Marcelo Bielsa stadium in Rosario, 155 miles northwest of Buenos Aires, to be suspended ahead of its 7.30pm kickoff.

An 18-year-old man was later arrested in connection with the crime.

Alegre was deemed lucky to escape without severe injury, with the bullet only inches away from him becoming an invalid. The gunfire narrowly missed two other officers who were nearby, the paper reported.

The shooting came a few days after a fan attempted to attack Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi in Rosario, as he returned to his home city. The world soccer player of the year dodged the punch as he was mobbed by fans.

Saturday’s postponed game between Newell’s Old Boys and San Lorenzo was set to be held Tuesday, the country’s soccer association said.

It was the third match halted by violence this season, two of which involved San Lorenzo.

The club’s game at Velez Sarsfield was stopped when a man was killed in fighting between fans and police in March, while a riot among home fans forced a game between Huracan and Estudiantes to be abandoned two weeks ago.