Last-minute cramming

Rolando Schiavi gets ready to change shirts
Rolando Schiavi gets ready to change shirts

Estudiantes (yeah, you see?) start their Copa Libertadores semi-final on Thursday night, and they’ve got some frantic last minute preparations for the big exam still to come. After left back Marco Angeleri and centre half Cristian Cellay were both ruled out with injury, Estudiantes have got dispensation from CONMEBOL to sign an emergency defender to add to their squad. Meanwhile, an investigation is getting underway surounding the deaths of two Huracán fans as they left their team’s 3-0 win over Arsenal de Sarandí.

Rolando Schiavi is the man Estudiantes are planning to bring in to help them out of their Copa mess. The Newell’s Old Boys defender, formerly of Boca Juniors, will cost them around US$50,000 for a loan deal that will last for the duration of El Pincha‘s stay in the Copa (a possible four more matches, if they reach the final). They’re hoping to get the deal done before Thursday, when they play the first leg of their tie with Uruguay’s Nacional in the Estadio Municipal de La Plata.

Meanwhile, Security Minister Aníbal Fernández was once again talking football on Argentine radio on Monday, explaining that it’s still not known precisely why the fight broke out on Sunday evening which saw two Huracán fans – presumed to be barra bravas but this hasn’t been confirmed – killed and a further four seriously injured.

The fight wasn’t being treated as an issue of football violence per se, because it occured well away from the stadium and around four hours after the match finished, but information apparently came to light later which suggested that it could have been part of an internal dispute in the barra brava of the club. It seems that some ugly scenes in the stands during the match threw up scores which were settled later, first in what seems to have been a pre-arranged meeting, and later in the Hospital Penna, where the injured from the first clash were transferred.

Angela Toscano, the hospital director, told the press that a 32-year-old man was dead on arrival, having been shot through the heart, whilst a 30-year-old died on the operating table as surgeons tried to save him following bullets to his chest and abdomen. The other four have serious injuries, but these aren’t expected to be life-threatening.

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