River begin home ban with win

Updated: 22 March 2007 06:37 IST

Top of the table River Plate had to win their classic encounter with Racing Club away from home at Velez Stadium in Buenos Aires on Sunday.

River begin home ban with win

Buenos Aires:

Top of the table River Plate had to win their classic encounter with Racing Club away from home at Velez Stadium in Buenos Aires on Sunday. This was after the Argentine government suspended Plate from hosting home matches due to violence that took place two weeks earlier. Plate fans were forced to travel to Velez stadium to watch their team win 4-2 after violent rioting a fortnight ago forced all homes games at Monumental Stadium to be suspended for five weeks. Unfair suspension? The suspension on February 11 did not stop thousands of Plate fans from turning out to watch their team against Racing Club, who have drawn two matches and lost one game this season. One supporter said he thought the suspension was unfair. "What are we doing here! We should play at the River's stadium, not in this neutral place (referring to Velez stadium)," said Walter Faras, River supporter. Plate fans have been involved in rioting in two separate occasions this season and they have only played three matches. The first occasion was when River played Lanus on February 11 when supporters fought amongst themselves while brandished knives after they complained about overcrowding. Police were forced to fire teargas but this only aggravated the fans who took to the streets and damaged shops and parked cars. And on February 17 a match was called off early between Plate and Newell's Old Boy's when fans began to throw debris onto the pitch. Tight security Local police were taking no chances with this match against Racing Club and were in attendance in heavy numbers to prevent any further violence. One supporter said he was ashamed of what had gone on in recent weeks, while another said the suspension would not stop the true fans from coming to River's matches. "I'm felling bad as fan as well as member. I'm felling bad we have been here three hour and we can not enter the stadium yet," said Sergio, River Plate supporter. Supporters had to endure long lines to catch a glimpse of their favourite players. Meanwhile River's stadium was empty due to the suspension. River Plate fans will have to behave themselves or an empty Monumental Stadium could stay that way for more than just five games this season.

Topics : Football
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