Argentina Suspends All Football Matches After Assassination Attempt on Vice President

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 2, 2022

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - AUGUST 23: Vice President of Argentina Cristina Fernandez greets supporters from a balcony of the National Congress after making a speech via social media on August 23, 2022 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. On Monday prosecutors asked the judge for a 12 years prison sentence and bar from holding public office for life for Cristina Fernandez. The current vice president and former president is accused of leading a criminal conspiracy that illegally awarded public contracts to an ally. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (Getty Images/Getty Images)

The Argentinian Football Association announced Friday's matches have been suspended after an assassination attempt on the country's vice president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, on Thursday night.

ESPN's Alex Kirkland reported the decision was made in coordination with President Alberto Fernández declaring Friday a national holiday in support of the vice president.

"The Argentinian Football Association expresses its strongest repudiation of what happened with vice president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner," the AFA said in a statement. "We call on society as a whole, warning that violence of any kind is never the solution."

Fernando Andre Sabag Montiel, a 35-year-old Brazilian national, was arrested Thursday after aiming a gun that failed to discharge at Fernández de Kirchner, per CNN.

"Cristina is still alive because—for some reason we can't technically confirm at this moment—the weapon, which was armed with five bullets, did not shoot although the trigger was pulled," President Fernández said.

Fernández de Kirchner served as Argentina's President from December 2007 through December 2015. She's worked as the vice president since December 2019.

The assassination attempt was made while Fernández de Kirchner is under trial for corruption. Prosecutors have alleged she "led an illicit scheme that siphoned state funds through the awarding of public works contracts to a family friend," according to Natalie Alcoba of Al Jazeera.

Prosecutors are seeking a 12-year prison sentence and a lifetime ban on her holding political office. Fernández de Kirchner has denied the allegations and told supporters last week the issue is politically motivated, per Alcoba.

"I've said this before: They aren't coming for me. They're coming for all of you," she said. "For the salaries, for workers' rights, for retirees, for our indebtedness—that's what they're after."

President Fernández contacted the judge involved in the corruption case and requested they "act as quickly as possible" in the wake of the attempted murder, per CNN.

The matches postponed Friday included three in the Primera Division, the country's top league. There were also two fixtures in the women's Primera Division A along with lower-level men's matches in the Torneo Federal and reserve leagues.

No makeup dates for those matches were immediately announced.