March 23, 2008 / 1:01 PM / 10 years ago

Soccer-Racing fans riot after three sent off, match abandoned

BUENOS AIRES, March 23 (Reuters) - Racing Club fans, furious after their team had three players sent off in six minutes and a goal disallowed, hurled missiles onto the pitch and forced the match against Estudiantes to be abandoned.

In the latest episode of violence to hit Argentine football, a group of fans also managed to get onto the pitch, prompting referee Federico Beligoy to stop play in the 77th minute of Saturday night’s game.

Estudiantes were leading 2-1.

Last week, the San Lorenzo-Velez Sarsfield game was called off minutes before kickoff when Velez fans rioted over the death of a supporter on the way to the stadium.

Racing, who are 19th in the 20-team Clausura championship, had Matias Sanchez, Adrian Bastia and Maxi Moralez dismissed for second yellow cards between the 71st and 77th minutes.

The final straw came when Moralez had the ball in the net but Beligoy disallowed the goal for handball and gave him a second yellow.

Racing fans began hurling missiles onto the pitch and the referee, after waiting five minutes for the situation to calm, took the teams off. A group of fans also managed to climb over the perimeter fences and onto the pitch.

“I called off the game because the police did not give me the guarantees needed to continue,” Beligoy told Argentine television.

Racing had taken the lead through Claudio Fileppi four minutes before halftime but Estudiantes replied with two goals in three minutes from Diego Galvan and Leandro Lazzaro early in the second half. (Reporting by Luis Ampuero, writing by Brian Homewood in Rio de Janeiro, editing by Rex Gowar)

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