Chaos and Violence Erupt As Rosario Central Are Relegated
In Argentina, the city of Rosario is -no doubt- second only to Buenos Aires in football history and passion. Some would even venture to say there are few city's in the world where football is as much a matter of life and death as this one.
The Rosario city rivals are Newells Old Boys, known as "Los Leprosos", (The Lepers) and Rosario Central, nick-named "Los Canallas" (The Scoundrels). This is very likely one of the most intense sporting rivalries on the planet (and that's not an exaggeration). These two clubs have also historically been amongst the primary sources of Argentina's footballing wealth.
Rosario Central recently lost their battle against relegation, one they've been fighting for over two seasons now. In the second leg of their playoff against second division side All-Boys, they were hammered 3-0, despite efforts of some excellent players such as Luciano Figueroa and Milton Caraglio.
After 26 years in the first division, Rosario Central have done miserably in recent times, and yet have somehow managed to produce a fabulous slew of young players while they were at it (Angel Di María being the most prominent).
The crowd in Rosario was unable to contain it's evident grief, and all hell broke loose when a group of enraged fans set out to vandalize the stadium, destroying press booths and coming into violent confrontation with the police.
For reasons no-one can explain, the stadium's exits were locked, and people were unable to escape from what could've been a catastrophe. Images were seen of mothers shielding their infants while the police violently battled angry fans. Fortunately for most, things were brought under control before any further damage was done, although about 10 policemen were badly injured.
In the after-math there has been news of one Central fan commiting suicide and another failing in the attempt; Central fans have also commited acts of vandalism at the Newells Old Boys stadium, and Rosario Central president has even had to leave the country because of death threats.
...more sad incidents in a country where football violence continues to be a part of the norm.
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