Leading club River Plate was relegated to the Argentine second division for the first time in its 110-year history on Sunday, sparking ugly riots between police and fans with dozens injured inside and outside Monumental stadium.
The relegation came after a 1-1 draw with Belgrano in the second leg after Belgrano won the first leg 2-0 at home.
Violence broke a minute before the match was over. Angry fans pelted players with objects thrown from the stands, and police replied with high-powered fire hoses with some fans climbing restraining fences topped with razor wire. (AP Photo)
As fans were pounded with jets of water, River Plate's players huddled on the pitch, many in tears, including goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo. (AP Photo)
The mayhem quickly spread outside River's 50,000-seat stadium. Alberto Crescenti, head of emergency medical services, said at least 55 people had been injured. Nilda Garre, the minister for security, said 35 police were injured. (AP Photo)
Police used water cannons outside the stadium immediately after the match, hoping to disperse fans quickly. Fans who poured out of the stadium faced police with batons and shields at every exit, while attack dogs were ready and helicopters hovered over the stadium. (AP Photo)
The area outside the stadium, located in the leafy northern suburb of Nunez, looked like a war zone with police battling hand to hand with River Plate hooligans, who are known by the colorful nickname "Los Borrachos del Tablon" — the Drunks in the Stands. Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas, and brought in mounted units to try to keep order. (AP Photo)
Fans were also seen ripping up stadium seats and using them as weapons in fights inside the venue.Half a half dozen ambulances entered the stadium area about 45 minutes after the match ended, with live television coverage showing medics working on the injured while street fights erupted just a few feet away. (AP Photo)
Suggestions to play the match in an empty stadium were turned down by interior ministry officials after consulting with the Argentine Football Association and its president Julio Grondona. The violence was predicted. On Wednesday, the first leg in Corboda was stopped for 20 minutes early in the second half after River Plate hooligans ripped through a fence and raced across the field taunting and pushing River Plate players.