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Infighting among Boca Juniors supporters leaves two dead and several injured

Jul 22, 2013, 8:33 AM EDT

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Infighting between two Boca Juniors supporters groups before yesterday’s friendly game with San Lorenzo has left two men dead and several injured.

The incident was reported by the Medical Assistance Service (SAME), which is regularly on duty at soccer matches in Buenos Aires.

SAME claimed that fighting broke out close to San Lorenzo’s Nuevo Gasometro stadium and that two men died after what is being described as a Wild West shootout.

The game, a warm-up match before the Argentinian league kicks off next month, was suspended.

The supporters groups, known in Argentina as ‘barra brava’, are effectively hooligan groups similar to European ultras. But unlike typical supporters groups who fight against supporters groups other clubs, Sunday’s incident was between two different barra brava from the same club (Boca).

Barra brava infighting typically results when two men are trying to control the same barra brava at the same club.

The reason? Money.

Barra brava at Argentinian clubs can control various monetary outlets, including the merchandise sold around the stadiums, the parking spaces and ticket sales. In some instances, the barra brava can even earn a percentage of the profits made from player sales.

Such was the case in 2007 with Gonzalo Acro, a high ranking member of the River Plate barra brava who was killed over disputes regarding profits from the sale of a player.

Sunday’s fatalities come after the June 2013 death of a Lanus supporter after a clash with riot police. That act of violence is what prompted the Argentine Football Association to rule that all matches in the upcoming season would be played without visiting fans.
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