Lifestyle & Belief

Argentina soccer fans sentenced for vandalism, sent home from Paraguay


Fans of Argentina's Colon de Santa Fe throw stones and plastic bottles on the field during the Copa Sudamericana soccer match against Paraguay's Cerro Porteno in Asuncion on October 23, 2012.



Paraguay has sent home 35 Argentina soccer fans after sentencing them to two-year suspended jail terms for acts of vandalism at a match in Asuncion and banned them for five years from returning across the border.

The hooligans were fans of Argentine team Colon and were arrested after fighting with Paraguayan supporters of Cerro Porteno and riot police during a Tuesday match at the Copa Sudamericana tournament, reported Reuters.

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"The 35 fans of Colon will be expelled from Paraguay. We have already informed the police about the signed resolution," Judge José Delmas told reporters on Friday.

According to the Associated Press, the Argentine fans were only released after Colon team officials handed over $35,000 to pay for damages, including smashed car windshields and shattered restroom fixtures at the Cerro Porteno stadium.

The violence started at Tuesday's match, where Cerro Porteno won 2-1 and eliminated Colon from the tournament, the AP also reported. The match was delayed 20 minutes in the second half when fighting broke out between fans in the stands.

Fan violence is common at Latin American soccer matches, with battles often breaking out between rival hooligan gangs.