Argentine Football Player Franco Nieto Beaten to Death After Tiro Federal Match

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2014

Chacarita Juniors' goalkeeper Nicolas Tauber, left,  kicks the ball as police officers stand guard in front of Chacarita Juniors' fans during an Argentinean soccer league match against Estudiantes de la Plata in Buenos Aires, Sunday May 2, 2010. (AP Photo/ Natacha Pisarenko)
Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press

The captain of Argentine regional club Tiro Federal, Franco Nieto, died on Wednesday from injuries suffered when he was beaten following a game against Chacarita Juniors on Saturday.

Nieto, 33, was reportedly attacked by a group "including a player from the opposing team, an assistant coach and a hooligan," after a heated encounter, according to regional police chief Fabian Bordon, speaking to TN television (h/t AFP via The Sydney Morning Herald).

The rivalry between the two teams seemingly escalated to unacceptable levels, as a melee on the pitch—that had seen the game called off with Tiro Federal leading 3-1—turned devastating post-match.

According to the BBC, the game was abandoned 15 minutes from time after eight players had been sent off by the referee. The report alleges the attack happened as Nieto "was going to his car with his wife and one-month-old daughter." It also stated: "The main culprits are the so-called Barras Bravas, gangs of radical supporters who control the terraces and the streets around the stadiums." Bordon told the media that police have apprehended three suspects.

Nieto was rushed to the hospital in the wake of the attack but didn't survive despite surgery.

One of the player's relatives outlined the incident in further detail to TN television on Wednesday (h/t AFP via The Sydney Morning Herald), describing the circumstances of the attack and attempted recovery: "People came to insult him. They kicked him and punched him. He tried to defend himself, but he was struck violently in the head. He was operated on Tuesday and died today."

This level of crowd trouble is not an isolated incident within Argentine football. Non-governmental group Salvemos al Futbol reports that off-field violence has led to 15 deaths since the start of 2014, a 300 percent increase on last year, per AFP.

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