Violence in football: Peñarol player attacked from the stands in Rosario

Maximiliano Olivera required stitches after a Rosario Central fan threw a rock to his face after the game

Peñarol player Maximiliano Olivera required stitches to his face after suffering an attack by Rosario Central fans after a Copa Libertadores match on Thursday. The Rosario side could face up to US$400,000 in fines and even potential disqualification from the tournament

The incident quickly sent Rosario Central’s 1-0 opening win of the tournament over Uruguayan giant Peñarol to the background. The game was marred with riots, as the police were forced to intervene before the beginning when Canalla followers were filmed attempting to throw metal fences from the highest stand down to where the Peñarol fans were.

Although the game was calm, problems resurfaced once the final whistle came. When Peñarol players approached the stands where their fans awaited, local fans in the rows above them threw objects at the players. Olivera was hit with what a Peñarol spokesperson later confirmed was a rock.

The player was rushed to a Rosario hospital for stitches. He later confirmed his recovery on his Instagram account. “Aside from the pain and the stitches, I’m fine,” Olivera wrote. “Hurt over the result […] and very angry over the treatment our fans got. It was shameful.”

Rosario Central released a statement on Friday, vowing to identify the culprits through the CCTV footage as soon as possible.

“Our club […] looks to ensure a violence-free spectacle before, during, and after every game,” said the statement, adding that the culprits will be sanctioned and banned from the club in case they are found to be members. In another communiqué, the club stated it will press charges against the culprits with the Rosario judiciary, indicating that the club is “one of the victims of the events.”

The club, however, is liable to sanction by Conmebol, South American football’s governing body. Per Article 55, Rosario Central is potentially subject to the annulment of the game and the loss of points, plus an additional point deduction (which could leave them with a negative tally), the closure of its stadium and even disqualification from the competition. They could also face an economic fine, ranging from US$100 to US$400,000.

A similar incident took place in 2014, when Boca Juniors goalkeeper Agustín Orión was hit in the head with an object thrown from the Rosario Central stands. At the time, the Canalla was sentenced to a US$70,000 fine and banned from playing in its stadium for the next game.


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