PtG Article 27.11.2006

Football fans beat up two journalists in Argentina

Two Argentinian sports journalists have been beaten up by football fans that were angry with one of the journalists after he had accused fans of threatening players in order to harm a rival team. The journalists were only rescued when police opened the doors into the changing rooms at the stadium to allow them an escape.

The Institute for Press and Society in Lima reports that the incident took place on 12 November at the city of La Plata’s municipal stadium in eastern Argentina.

The journalists Juan Manuel Allan of “Olé” newspaper and Osvaldo Fanjul from televison station TyC sports had gone down to the changing rooms after a football match in order to conduct interviews. In the corridor outside the changing rooms Allan was recognised by fans as one of the reporters that had accused fans of threatening behaviour towards players and the fans began beating the two reporters.

Eventually the police opened the doors into the changing rooms that the reporters could escape.

Neither the manager of the Gimnasiy y Esgrima football team nor the stadcium security staff could explain why the journalists had not been allowed into the changing rooms as soon as the match ended as is the custom.

According to the Institute for Press and Society, Gimnasia y Esgrima’s secretary, Carlos Jiménez, declared that the police were in charge of security. However, a source in the police force stated that one of the team’s managers had ordered that the journalists should not be allowed into the changing rooms.