Four Velez Sarsfield players have claimed that they were attacked by a group of fans in a parking lot. After punching one of the players, the ultras, or ‘Barra Brava,’ allegedly even threatened to shoot the team members. Nevertheless, no shots were reported to be fired during the incident.
The altercation between players and fans occurred following the team’s 1-0 loss to Huracan on Sunday. Star defender Diego Godin retired after the match. The defeat dropped the Buenos Aires-based club to 25th in the table. There are 28 total teams in the Argentine Primera Division. Velez Sarsfield has previously collected 10 top-flight titles in their illustrious history. The team’s last championship came in 2013.
17-year-old winger assaulted during incident
Velez winger Gianluca Prestianni was one of the players to be assaulted in the attack. The forward is just 17. “We arrived (at the stadium) to get our cars and go home,” Prestianni explained to ESPN. “We came out and it was all dark when the cars of the ‘Barra Brava’ came across us. There were probably five or six of them.”
“They hit me twice in the face while grabbing me by the jacket. I was too scared and my teammates didn’t want to go home in case they were followed. They even told one of them, ‘Get out of the car or I’ll shoot you twice in the legs.'”
Velez Sarsfield condemns attack as other players tell story
Velez defender Leonardo Jara has backed up Prestianni’s account of the incident. Speaking with a local radio station, Jara echoed his teammate’s claim that the ultras threatened to use a gun. “They crossed a car in front of me, they wanted me to get out of mine and said they were going to shoot me in the legs,” proclaimed Jara.
The team has issued a statement condemning the horrific actions of the group of fans. Velez managed to win just five league matches during the season, the second fewest of any team in the division.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Sebastien Frej
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