Police scatter demonstrators with water cannons
Thursday, June 23, 2011
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Police with shields marching behind water cannons scattered hundreds of demonstrators outside River Plate's stadium on Thursday as they called for the resignation of River Plate president Daniel Passarella and coach Juan Jose Lopez.
The situation surrounding one of Buenos Aires' most famous soccer teams threatens to be explosive with the club facing relegation to the second division.
River Plate lost 2-0 to second-division club Belgrano on Wednesday, and a failure in the second-leg playoff match Sunday would send the club to the second tier.
Wednesday's match at Belgrano's stadium was stopped for 20 minutes early in the second half when hooligans, at least one wearing a mask, ripped through a chain-link fence and shoved and taunted River players. Interior ministry officials and officials of the Argentina Football Association met Thursday to decide if the Sunday match can be played with fans present.