Buenos Aires, Argentina — At least one person died as police clashed with football fans trying to enter an Argentinian league game on Thursday night, and the referee stopped the match as clouds of tear gas spread through inside the stadium.
Authorities and witnesses said fans of local team Gimnasia y Esgrima struggled to enter an already full stadium, and police fired rubber bullets and tear gas in an attempt to make push back the crowd.
The incident came less than a week after the use of tear gas outside a soccer match in Indonesia sparked a stampede that left 131 people dead.
Nine minutes into Thursday night’s match between Gimnasia and Boca Juniors, referee Hernán Mastrángelo suspended play. The league said on Twitter that he acted due to the lack of security.
The players withdrew to their locker rooms and many spectators invaded the pitch to try to escape the tear gas.
“Unfortunately there is a deceased person. He died of a heart problem,” Sergio Berni, the province’s security minister, told Todo Noticias.
Berni gave no details about the circumstances in which this person died.
Only Gimnasia fans have been at the Juan Carmelo Zerillo stadium in La Plata, since the province of Buenos Aires banned fans of visiting teams from games in 2013 amid frequent outbreaks of violence.
The Argentine Football Association said in a tweet that it “expresses its commitment to continue working to eradicate this kind of episode that tarnishes the party”.
No new date has been announced for the resumption of play.
Some fans claimed there was an oversell of tickets amid the excitement over the game between two teams vying for the league title, saying people probably got angry when they couldn’t get in In the stadium.
In its security protocols, FIFA advises against the use of tear gas in or around stadiums in order to avoid risky situations such as in La Plata or in the Indonesian city of Malanga last Saturday, when many dead were crushed during of the jostling. of supporters.
Associated Press writer Débora Rey contributed to this report.