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Argentine futbol fans can riot with best of 'em

Posted on: June 28, 2011 10:37 am
Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In case you were wondering how the Argentine fans would react if River Plate, the most successful franchise in Argentina’s club soccer history, was relegated to a lower-level league, we have our answer.

Hint: it does not go over well.

According to The Independent newspaper, 25 police officers had to be hospitalized after fans rioted following the team’s first relegation in its 110-year history.

From the story:

Police deployed water canons in an attempt to cool things off but with 60,000 disgruntled supporters spilling onto the streets they found themselves overmatched.

Fans demonstrated their displeasure by throwing punches, kicks, iron bars, dustbins, bicycles and anything else close by at the police. Other sections of supporters took out their anger on local businesses and residents as they looted shops and torched cars.

When order was eventually restored it was more by coincidence than design that there had been no fatalities. One police officer was airlifted from the scene with a head wound to join his colleagues in hospital while 40 fans suffered injuries and 50 arrests were made.

A few years back, my wife and I attended a match at River Plate’s stadium in Buenos Aires to watch a World Cup qualifier between Argentina and Paraguay. It was an intense fan experience. The Paraguayan fans were kept sheltered from the Argentines – almost herded into their own sections like cattle, behind tall fences – and police officers kept them from leaving after the match until Argentina’s supporters had left the stadium.

There were no riots that day, but there were moments during the match (a draw between the two squads) when you could feel that somehow it could be possible.

It’s unfortunate the other day that it actually happened.

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Since: Apr 17, 2008
Posted on: June 29, 2011 11:03 am

Argentine futbol fans can riot with best of 'em

Someone please tell me how you get from one point to the other.  Your football team loses so you fight with police, start fires, and break into stores. 

Since: Sep 19, 2007
Posted on: June 29, 2011 9:25 am

Argentine futbol fans can riot with best of 'em

yet another reason I'm glad soccer is not a major sport in the USA. Soccer fans are nuts and all for a sport that is terrible to watch and ends in a scorless draw half the time. I think they riot out of shear boredom and are angry that they don't have a better sport to watch.

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: June 28, 2011 5:17 pm

Argentine futbol fans can riot with best of 'em

Riot police need to start using real bullets and aim to kill. That would solve the problem real quick.

Since: Feb 14, 2008
Posted on: June 28, 2011 3:15 pm

Argentine futbol fans can riot with best of 'em

Vancouver threw a bigger riot than these Argentine people.  Canadians really know how to riot.

Since: Nov 11, 2008
Posted on: June 28, 2011 2:37 pm

Argentine futbol fans can riot with best of 'em

1st, people in Vancouver, Canada riot after the Canucks lose in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals.  Now, people in Buenos Aires, Argentina riot after River Plate gets drop down to a lower tier.  I can't think of an American city that riots if their team loses instead of wins.  Arlington, Texas had a non-violent rally when the Texas Rangers lost in the 2010 World Series.  I know about that rally because I was at that rally and came out without a stratch on my body.

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