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Argentina hands 128 Boca Junior fans four-year stadium ban

Buenos Aires (AFP) – Argentine authorities have banned 128 Boca Juniors supporters from football grounds for four years, according to a notice published in the official journal on Thursday. 

The country’s politicians have been wrestling with the problem of football hooligans, or barrabravas, for years. The issue attracted international attention last November when the second leg of the all-Argentine Copa Libertadores final was cancelled after River Plate fans attacked the Boca team bus.

Salvemos, an Argentine group founded to fight violence in football, lists 10 football related deaths in 2018 and 143 in the last 20 years.

Away fans have been banned at matches in the Argentine Superliga since 2013, and though the ban was relaxed last August, it still applies to fans of the five biggest clubs.

A bill intended to increase the penalties for stadium violence, first mooted in 2016 but then abandoned, was revived after the Libertadores final and is being debated in Congress.

Among those banned on Thursday are two leaders of Boca’s barrabravas, Rafael Di Zeo and Mauro Martin, both already serving stadium bans.

The bans do not apply to matches outside Argentina.

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