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Volume 6 No. 214

International Football

Argentinian football club Boca Juniors "has had two tiers of terracing at its La Bombonera stadium closed" after crowd violence at Sunday's superclasico against River Plate, and "faces a possible suspension of the entire ground," according to Rex Gowar of REUTERS. Boca fans on the terracing behind the goal River was defending in the second half "lit flares and threw fireworks and objects into the penalty box," causing referee German Delfino to halt play for nearly 10 minutes. Delfino said that "he came very close to abandoning the match." Public prosecutor Martin Lopez Zavaleta said, "We have opened a case to see who's responsible. What we're investigating are fireworks being taken into the stadium. The (security) operation failed because there should not have been all those fireworks and banners inside the stadium. We confiscated film footage, we're not ruling anything out" (REUTERS, 5/6).

PLAYER PROTEST: REUTERS' Gowar also reported "some objects hit River goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero, who appeared to tell referee German Delfino his team could not play on under the circumstances." Delfino, who dished out yellow cards to several players on each side "in a keenly contested clash between the most bitter rivals in South America," opted not to abandon the match and added 12 minutes on to the 90 (REUTERS, 5/5). OLE reported Zavaleta later announced that if it is discovered that "there was a planned effort by Boca Juniors to allow fireworks, it could demand the closing of the entire stadium" (OLE, 5/6).

The Scottish Premier League match between Kilmarnock and Hibernian Sunday "was abandoned when a spectator collapsed and later died of a suspected heart attack," according to Graham McColl of the LONDON TIMES. The man was treated for 15 minutes "in front of the East Stand shortly after half-time." The game was 52 minutes old when it was stopped by referee Kevin Clancy, "out of respect for the fan, who was attended to on the running track." Paramedics "could be seen vigorously administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation" (LONDON TIMES, 5/6). The Scotland DAILY RECORD reported the fan was identified as 49-year-old James Haswell. Haswell, a "lifelong Killie fan," died at 7:30pm local time. Kilmarnock Manager Kenny Shiels said that there was "no choice but to call off the game out of respect" to Haswell's family. Shiels: "We need to show respect to the relevant families. Football isn't as important as human life. We've shown our respect, both clubs" (DAILY RECORD, 5/6).

: In Glasgow, Berry & Haggerty reported both club doctors -- Kilmarnock's Gerry Canning and Hibernian's Duncan Reid "helped out paramedics." Kilmarnock goalkeeper Cammy Bell "was relieved" when the referee called the match. Bell: "This was a terrible situation, especially with it being so close to the pitch. The ref made the right decision as you could not pay attention to the match when a fan is receiving potential life-saving treatment at the side of the pitch." Shiels "is now looking at a rearranged date for the game." Shiels: "I spoke briefly about it to (Hibernian Manager) Pat Fenlon, and we suggested Wednesday week -- May 15. That looks to be the most likely date" (DAILY RECORD, 5/6).

Spanish Football League (LFP) President Javier Tebas said that there is "considerable evidence" against Levante’s players that might take them to trial for match-fixing, according to FOOTBALL ESPAÑA. The LFP has forwarded on information gathered on the La Liga Levante-Deportivo game from mid-April to the Anti-Corruption Office to investigate signs of match-fixing, "with the accusation against unnamed players from Levante." Tebas said, "I will not go into details because that would hurt the investigation. That game, since before it was played, was under investigation. I’m convinced that this time I will be able to prove it. There is considerable evidence that we hope will result in a trial. The biggest hint is that a player himself has accused his peers and repeatedly so, that’s very important. The value of a trial would be to consider others. That [Javier] Barkero later retracted his accusation does not mean anything.” Tebas "revealed that he has had several discussions" with Levante President Quico Catalan. Tebas: "About what? It’s a very sensitive issue. It is not only me that wants to end this [match-fixing], as many clubs are suffering, trying to make the best of things and ending up in trouble at the end of the season unfairly. Depor? No one has accused them of anything. I am speaking not only of fraud but also on the subject of betting. It needs to be realized that in any case of corruption the details will not be published with a megaphone. The only thing that has been released has been the accusation against the players from the same team” (FOOTBALL ESPAÑA, 5/6).

ARTILES OFFENDED: FOOTBALL ESPAÑA also reported Deportivo defender Aythami Artiles "has reflected on the irritation" that Deportivo feels in seeing its 4-0 win at Levante under investigation for having been fixed. Artiles said, "Nobody likes to be accused of something that they have not done. It has taken much effort from us to get out of the relegation zone, for us to be accused of buying games. The problem is with Levante, if there is one, and for them to settle. For once, we won a game against a big team and by a comfortable score, it will be investigated. It bothers us because we are a pretty decent team. If they try and look at our games or have suspicions, they must also look at what will happen from here on out. We do not feel ourselves as implicated” (FOOTBALL ESPAÑA, 5/6).