November 22, 2018 / 8:10 PM / 22 days ago

Soccer: Stadium closed after fans attack police in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Police in Buenos Aires have closed All Boys stadium after their fans attacked police with guns and weapons resulting in 18 injuries and three arrests, officials said on Thursday. 

Trouble flared on Wednesday night after the home side lost 3-2 to Atlanta as police tried to calm violent clashes led by All Boys barra brava, the name given to the radical organised fan groups. 

All Boys fans, singing anti-Semitic songs in reference to Atlanta’s Jewish origins, advanced towards their team bus as it left the stadium. 

“Police were forced to reverse as they (the barras) were armed and could not face up to attackers with lethal weapons,” the city’s security and justice secretary said in a statement. “The barras were then dispersed by a motorised unit who made three arrests.”

Officials said that in addition to closing the third tier ground they would ask authorities to ban All Boys fans from all stadiums for a year. 

The violence, the latest in a series of incidents in and around Argentina’s football grounds, came three days before Boca Juniors and River Plate, the two biggest clubs in Buenos Aires, meet in Saturday’s Copa Libertadores final.

Away fans are banned from derby matches in Argentina due to the recurring violence and only River supporters will be allowed into the Monumental stadium for what is the biggest game of the year.

Writing by Andrew Downie, editing by Ed Osmond

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