Gov’t Says No Public for Upcoming Soccer Games Following Violence

Interior Minister Oscar Valdes said that upcoming soccer games in Peru will be played without fans in the stadiums, a measure implemented by the government following the violent death of a fan over the weekend during a game between two rival Lima teams.

“We have a special order from President [Ollanta Humala] and the cabinet chief has already said it: there is going to be a punishment,” state news agency Andina reported Valdes as saying. “The next games are going to be played without public as a measure that the government is taking into account the utmost seriousness it deserves.”

The measure comes following the death of Walter Oyarce, an industrial engineering student at San Ignacio de Loyola University and supporter of the Alianza Lima club, on Saturday. Oyarce was thrown about10 meters from box seats by hooligans from the rival team, Universitario.

The supporters of Universitario, known as the “U”, broke into the box in the stadium’s southern area shortly after their team scored a goal to defeat Alianza 2 to 1.

The incident has been widely condemned by Peruvian politicians and the media.

One of the alleged perpetrators of the attack had flown to the United States the same night of the incident, but decided to return to Lima late Tuesday night and was arrested by police when he got off the flight.

Meanwhile, the owners of soccer teams have said that they are opting to suspend the finals of the Copa Movistar tournament this week rather than go ahead with the game without the presence of the public.

“I don’t think the majority of clubs are in a condition to pay what a game costs if they don’t have revenue [from the crowds],” said Ivan Vasquez, the owner of Iquito’s CNI team.

“The ideal would be to suspend the championship this week, sit down and talk with the people involved and find a solution,” said Gustavo Zevallos, the manager of Callao’s Sporting Cristal. “Beyond this casualty, soccer has to continue.”

The president of Alianza, Pocho Alarcon, added that “we can’t give a message to these hooligans that we are scared.”

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One Comment

  1. The most inept response to sports violence ever.

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