Monday, March 16, 2009

Two shot as another weekend of violence mars football in Buenos Aires

Two shot as another weekend of violence mars football in Buenos Aires.
Football in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires was once again blighted by violence this weekend as a man and a women were shot.

A clash between fans of the same team in and around a McDonalds restaurant escalated from wooden sticks to gunfire in a matter of moments.

The fighting was perpetrated by rivals factions of Boca Juniors’ barras bravas group, a hardcore element dubbed ‘La 12’.

Their name comes from the advantage they give their team as they act like an extra player from the stands. Although they can behave a little differently sometimes than the 12th man Delia Smith talked about wanting at Carrow Road.

The man who was shot is currently fighting for his life in Buenos Aires’ Cosme Argerich hospital.

"One man who is about 55 years old has a serious craneoencephalic trauma, is in a coma and his health condition is critical," Alberto Crescenti, director of the federal emergency services SAME, told cable news channel C5N.

The women has been named as Delia Campos, aged 85, and is said to be in a stable condition. A bullet hit her in the leg but passed out the other side, making it easier for the medics to deal with her injury.

It has been reported that the two victims were innocent bystanders as the ‘La 12’ turned on itself four hours before Boca’s game with Argentinos Juniors.

The ruck took place in Parque Lezama, an area known for is amusement park, about one kilometre away from Boca’s La Bombomera stadium.

Police were able to make six arrests following the shootings and recovered a gun from the scene. Eyewitnesses have said that at least one man opened fire and four or five shots were heard.

At its climax the fight itself is said to have involved over 100 people.

Tensions have been running high within ‘La 12’ for weeks and police made substantial arrests the previous week before Boca’s 1-0 defeat to Independiente.

With Boca fans too busy fighting among themselves this weekend their opposition’s barras bravas had to find their sport elsewhere.

A coach load of Argentinos Juniors fans on their way to Boca passed by a bus carrying fans of Racing Club. Missiles were thrown from each vehicle until the police stepped in an made around 100 arrests.

Despite the day’s events authorities did not see any need to postponed the evening’s game and Boca eventually ran out 3-0 winners.

Copyright © Tim Sturtridge & Soccerphile.com

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