BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – The Argentine Football Assocation has called off a third-division match, fearing an outbreak of violence in a game between the club Nueva Chicago and rival General Lamadrid.
AFA suspended the game scheduled for Wednesday after the death on Tuesday of Nueva Chicago fan Aldo Barralda. Barralda was stabbed on Jan. 18 in a fight between rival hooligan gangs associated with Nueva Chicago. The hospital Santojanni said Barralda died of a lung infection.
Violence is endemic in football in Argentina. The non-profit group Let’s Save Football says 260 fans have died in football-related violence since 1924. More than a dozen fans have died of football-related violence in the past two years.
Barralda’s death again focused attention on a smouldering problem that Argentine police and AFA officials have been unable to solve.
Barralda was believed to have been involved in the death of Agustin Rodriguez, the member of a rival hooligan at the club Nueva Chicago.
Rodriguez’s death prompted dozens of football hooligans to invade the Santojanni hospital two weeks ago, looking for Barralda and trying to avenge Rodriguez’s death. The chaotic scene at the hospital was captured on closed-circuit television and was widely shown on national television and abroad.
The camera caught the gang members barging past limited security at the hospital, and then throwing chairs and equipment in a hospital corridor as they searched for Barralda.
No arrests have been made in the case.