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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

River Plate relegation sparks riots


BUENOS AIRES — River Plate was relegated to the Argentine second division for the first time in its 110-year history Sunday, sparking ugly street battles between police and fans with dozens injured inside and outside River's Monumental stadium.

Violence broke a minute before the match was over. Angry fans pelted players with objects thrown from the stands, and police replied with high-powered fire hoses.

As fans were pounded with jets of water, River Plate's players huddled on the pitch, many in tears, including goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo.

The mayhem quickly spread outside River's 50,000-seat stadium. Alberto Crescenti, head of emergency medical services, said at least 55 people had been injured, some of them police.

"Right now there is no fatality," Crescenti said.

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