One man died due to heart failure and a 7-year-old child lost his eyesight Thursday evening in the Argentine city of La Plata when police used teargas and rubber bullets as a group of supporters of the local football club Gimnasia y Esgrima -the club Diego Maradona was coaching when he died- crammed through the stadium's closed gates.
Local authorities argued the incidents broke out nine minutes into the game against Boca Juniors, due to a ticket oversale which resulted in angry fans trying to get into an already packed facility.
The Government of the Province of Buenos Aires regrets the events that took place during the football match between Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata and Club Atlético Boca Juniors, in the city of La Plata, a statement issued by the Government of the Province of Buenos Aires read.
It is unacceptable that last night thousands of platenses had to live what they experienced and even more, that the unfortunate fact that César Regueiro lost his life during the match took place, it went on. Regueiro, 57, had played for Gimnasia in his younger, amateur years and remained a conspicuous club fan. He died of a heart attack on his way to the hospital after decompensating inside the stadium, Berni confirmed.
The local authorities stressed almost everybody who needed medical assistance had been discharged while an investigation has been launched to determine whether the conditions of entry to the stadium could have been altered by an overbooking of tickets. The authorities also acknowledged the security operation was not up to the required standards.
The Governor instructed the Minister of Security so that the Chief of the Operation is immediately removed and that all the elements are placed at the disposal of the prosecutor who is intervening. We will respect the actions of Justice to determine the responsibilities of the events that occurred and we will be strict with the sanctions of those who have not fulfilled their duty, the statement went on.
We committed ourselves to transform the Police of the Province, to improve its working conditions, its equipment and its training to give it a higher degree of professionalism, but there is still a long way to go, the Government of the Province of Buenos Aires also pointed out.
Meanwhile, Buenos Aires Security Minister Sergio Berni explained that the policeman who shot a TV cameraman had been sacked. TV cameraman Fernando Rivero of TyC Sports took 3 rubber bullets in his chest.
The incident got worse as people who tried to leave the stadium were trapped by closed gates. There were over 100 people injured.
Tickets are oversold and then there is no room in the stadiums and we have to take responsibility for such irresponsibility, Berni complained. There is no doubt that the responsibility lies with the organizer of the event, he added.