|Boca Juniors' striker Lucas Viatri (C) runs with the ball under pressure from All Boys' Facundo Quiroga (R) and Hernan Grana (L) during their Argentine First Division soccer match in Buenos Aires, August 18, 2012. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci
Five people were wounded in a gun fight between rival factions of Boca Juniors hooligans while Independiente coach Christian Diaz quit due to fan pressure over poor results as dark forces engulfed Argentine soccer at the weekend.
“We’re worried. It’s a lamentable occurrence because there are people with bullet wounds,” Boca president Daniel Angelici told reporters after Saturdayÿs incident.
The shootout involving “barra bravas”, the Latin American equivalent of the European ultras, took place before Boca’s away league match at Union in Santa Fe.
The barra bravas fight over turf rights such as free tickets, parking spaces and the sale of refreshments around the ground.
Boca beat nine-man Union 2-1 to go top of the Argentine league before the rest of the programme of matches on Sunday and Monday.
Union had midfielder Pablo Bruna sent off in the 34th minute and defender Mauro Maidana in the 70th.
Boca, who scored through defender Rolando Schiavi and striker Nicolas Blandi, have nine points from four matches, one point more than title holders Arsenal.
Independiente lost 2-0 at home to Arsenal, an 11th league game without victory which sees them stranded in the relegation places, and which prompted Diaz’s resignation.
Hardcore fans, who are disilusioned with the club president Javier Cantero over his refusal to grant them the favours they had become accustomed to under the previous administration, had been calling for Diazÿs head for months.
The fans chanted the name of Americo Gallego, the former Argentina 1978 World Cup winning midfielder who was the last coach to steer Independiente to the league title a decade ago.
“Itÿs time to decompress things a little,” Diaz said of his decision to leave.
“I’m in no doubt that Independiente will get out of this situation and get to June (when the season ends) with a smile for the fans.”