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Violent reaction to River Plate relegation

  • AP, Monday, June 27, 2011 12:56 AM

River Plate, the most successful club in Argentine history with 33 league titles, was relegated to the Argentine second division for the first time in its 110-year existence after a 1-1 tie with Begrano on Sunday gave it a 3-1 aggregate loss in the demotion playoff series.

Violence broke out a minute before Sunday's game was over. Angry fans pelted players with objects from the stands, and police replied with high-powered fire hoses with some fans climbing fences topped with razor wire.

As fans were pounded with jets of water, River Plate’s players huddled on the field, many in tears. The mayhem quickly spread outside River’s 50,000-seat stadium. At least 55 people had been injured and the minister for security said 35 police officers were injured.

There were reports of stores and shops being broken into on one of Buenos Aires’ most famous thoroughfares -- Avenida Del Libertador. Argentine authorities had deployed about 2,200 police -- reported to be the largest security operation for a soccer game.

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