monumental

River Plate Relegated From Argentine Primera After 3-1 Playoff Loss To Belgrano

River Plate, one of the big two of Argentina and one of the biggest clubs in world football, has been relegated to the second division of Argentinian football after losing a playoff against Belgrano, who have been promoted.

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River Plate Riots: Several Police Officers Severely Injured In Riots

Although seeing the reports of the riots in Buenos Aires following the relegation of River Plate from the Argentine Clasaura for the first time in their history is chilling enough, seeing it unfurl live is horrifying. Tanks with water cannons are parading the streets, members of the public are running about in panic and there's rather too much fire around for anyone's liking.

But the worst part of watching is seeing the ambulances and stretchers carrying injured police officers from the front lines. According to reports, there are at least five police officers suffering serious injuries and many more who are less badly hurt. The most appalling incident so far has been the alleged torching of a police car by rioters while said vehicle was still occupied:

Thugs set a police car on fire. 15 police officers hurt (one in serious condition), says América Noticias.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply


Belgrano fans are still trapped in the Estadio Monumental, and it's still not clear if there'll be any safe way of extracting them within any reasonable timescale. Meanwhile, journalists are being assualted, TV vans are being destroyed, and something barely short of a pitched battle is being fought on the streets. This can't clear up fast enough.

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River Plate Riots: Reports Indicate One Fan Fatality And Violence Against Police After Relegation

Following their relegation from the Argentine Primera A, the first division of football in Argentina, fans of River Plate are rioting in the area of their stadium, the Monumental. According to reports, there has been violence and vandalism in and around the stadium, including reports of one fan fatality and attacks against police officers. Many of these reports have been corroborated on twitter by various fans and bloggers, including the fantastic Sebastian Garcia and Mundo Albiceleste, who have been on top of the story since the riots started with 30 seconds remaining in the match.

The police attempted to subdue the crowd inside the stadium with fire hoses, but their efforts did nothing to calm the crowd. In Argentina, to avoid incidents of this nature, away fans are supposed to be escorted out of the stadium and out of the area before the home supporters can leave to avoid clashes and to give home fans time to cool down in case of a contentious result. That procedure didn't work today, as many River fans rushed out of the stadium early, ahead of the Belgrano fans. So far, no reports of serious violence between the sets of fans have been reported.

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River Plate Relegated From Argentine Primera After 3-1 Playoff Loss To Belgrano

Improbably, River Plate, one of the two biggest clubs in Argentinian football, have been relegated from the Argentine Primera A after losing a promotion-relegation playoff with Belgrano by an aggregate score of 3-1. River will now be sent down to the second division in Argentina, while Belgrano will be promoted to the first division.

Belgrano won the first leg of the home and away tie in mid-week, sounding alarm bells in Buenos Aires, but most believed that Los Millionairos would be able to get the result they needed to stay up at home at the Monumental. It appeared that way early in the second leg, as Mariano Pavone scored a goal in the 5th minute, bringing River Plate back within one. They completely dominated the remainder of the first half, but couldn't find a second goal.

Incredibly, the next goal would be scored by Belgrano, sending the River Plate players and supporters into shock. Guillermo Farré was the man who stunned the Monumental, scoring in the 61st minute to put River down by two yet again.

Less than 10 minutes later it appeared that Los Millionairos were going to bet back into the game when they were granted a penalty, but their goal scorer Pavone hit a soft dribbler down the middle that was easily saved by Juan Carlos Olave.

The entire rest of the game was played in Belgrano's half, but River couldn't score another goal...and they needed two. Despite River's dominance at the Monumental, you would be hard-pressed to find a neutral who thought Belgrano's victory wasn't deserved, as they showed incredible heart over the 180 minute tie. They will be playing in the first division next season, while one of the biggest clubs in all of world football sits in the second tier.

Not surprisingly, a pocket of River fans were not able to accept their team's fate with class and dignity, as they rioted before the final whistle blew to cause a long delay in the game. The police tried to restore order but were unsuccessful. The delay started very close to the end of 90 minutes and the riots were uncontrollable, so the referee called an end to the match after a 5 minute delay. The tie ended with a final score of 3-1 in favor of Belgrano, and River are officially a second division team.

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