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River Plate match abandoned after fan dies falling from stand

Featured image credit: Diego Haliasz/Prensa River

River Plate’s Primera División match against Defensa y Justicia on Saturday was abandoned after a fan died falling from a stand at the Estadio Mâs Monumental.

River said that Pablo Marcelo Serrano died instantly after falling from the Sivori Alta grandstand, which was at 90% capacity at the time.

The club confirmed that there were no issues of disturbance in the stand that led to the incident, nor any third-party invention. The match was abandoned after 26 minutes and the stadium was completely evacuated shortly after.

Match referee Fernando Rapallini told football news website Ole: “At one point I heard that in the stands they were chanting for us to stop the game. They told us that there was a person who was seriously injured, but the death had not yet been confirmed. Four or five minutes later they told us that he had died, so the security organisations told me that the game was suspended.”

An investigation is being carried out by security agencies and the fiscal unit specialising in mass events. River declared a day of mourning, with the club’s flag outside the stadium flying at half-mast yesterday.

Mâs Monumental recently became South America’s biggest stadium, with more than 83,000 fans attending a match against Argentinos Juniors in February. The stadium will have a final capacity of 84,567 once renovation work is fully completed.

Mâs Monumental surpassed Estadio Monumental in Lima, Peru (80,093) and the Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (78,838) as the largest stadium in South America.