Argentine Official Calls For Government Action After Two Fans Killed Prior To Match
Two men were killed in a fight between fans of Argentine first division side Boca Juniors just before Boca Juniors was scheduled to take on San Lorenzo on Sunday in Buenos Aires, according to the BBC. The violence was started by "members of rival factions of Boca Juniors supporters." The two men killed were 35 and 44 years old, respectively. A San Lorenzo spokesperson said the club suspended the game before it started. San Lorenzo President Matías Lammens: "Knowing what had happened, it was dangerous to expose the people. We thought it was best to suspend the game" (BBC, 7/22). REUTERS' Luis Ampuero reported Boca Juniors President Daniel Angelici accused the Argentine government of "turning a blind eye to the growing problem of soccer hooligans after two were killed in a Wild West style shootout." Angelici: "The state knows each one of them. They have their names, surnames and know where they live. The state has the biggest responsibility. ... These are delinquents who must be eradicated. If (the government) is going to ask football directors to deal with them it's because no one wants to do anything about it." There was "only one arrest of a man with a gun." The apparent impunity of football hooligans has become "as big a topic of discussions among regular fans and the general public as the game itself in Argentina." Incidents tend to "be about power struggles within the barras bravas of the clubs rather than fighting between hooligan fans of rival teams" (REUTERS, 7/22).