The serious incidents that on Thursday caused the suspension of the duel between Gimnasia y Esgrima and Boca Juniors, from the Argentine league, left a fan dead from cardiorespiratory arrest while being transferred to a hospital. The game was suspended 9 minutes after starting due to the serious disturbances that occurred outside the venue, which affected the development of the duel that was played at the Carmelo Zerillo stadium, in La Plata, about 50 kilometers south of Buenos Aires.
“I confirm that there is a dead person. This person dies of cardiac arrest”said Sergio Berni, Minister of Security of the province of Buenos Aires. The authorities of the San Martín de La Plata hospital confirmed the death of César Regueiro, 57, due to cardiorespiratory arrest.
A sports channel cameraman T&C He was injured by rubber bullets and dozens of spectators had to be referred to hospitals due to the effect of the gases, according to local media reports.
The duel was canceled until further notice “due to lack of guarantees,” according to referee Hernán Mastrángelo, minutes after the players and coaching staff left for the locker room. “The reality is that we never had the physical integrity to continue the game, it affected us all on the pitch, the air became unbreathable. The situation got out of control and security guarantees were not given,” added the referee.
The incidents began with violent crossings outside the stadium, when the police used rubber bullets and tear gas to repress fans who were struggling to enter an already packed stadium.. The match was the most important of matchday 23, with four to go, with Gimnasia playing at home for the last chance to fight for the title, while Boca was looking for a win to return to the top of the championship
“What was going to be a party ends in this, what happened hurts us all, it’s tremendous and we regret it,” Boca Juniors coach Hugo Ibarra told reporters.
With a packed stadium, the incidents began when people continued to arrive determined to enter, many of them with valid tickets, according to local authorities. Detonations were heard in the stadium and the smoke from the gases quickly reached the field of play. The footballers, the referee and members of the coaching staff had to quickly leave the field, at the same time that fans entered the field in search of an exit and fresher airsince the accesses of the field were closed.
In Argentine football, League matches are played without visiting fans, which did not prevent some members of the Boca squad from helping rival fans with water. “The first thing I saw was the people who began to leave the stands and I began to feel what the gas causes. I thought of my family and I began to worry. I am angry about everything that happened,” he said. Nicholas Contin, Gymnastics player, while carrying his little son in his arms hours after the suspension of the match, still in the locker room.
The Argentine Football Association (AFA) issued a statement in which it “strongly repudiated the publicly known events that occurred today in the vicinity of the Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata stadium” and expressed “his commitment to continue working to eradicate this kind of episodes that tarnish the football festival”.
Meanwhile, Eduardo Aparicio, head of the agency that prevents violence in stadiums in Argentina, lamented the incidents. “It’s a very bitter pill, everything is under investigation, the role of the police. The incidents started from the outside in, around the stadium there were 10,000 people wanting to enter, some had tickets, others did not. They all saw how the field was, there was not even a pin“.
According to statistics from the NGO Salvemos al Fútbol, clashes inside and outside the stadiums have produced more than 300 deaths in Argentina since soccer was professionalized in the South American country in the 1930s, although two-thirds of the deaths occurred after the 1990s
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