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Uruguay violence halts matches

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Scenes of violence after Danubio beat Nacional 1-0

The Uruguayan Football Association has suspended all premier division matches following clashes between fans of the league's top two teams.

Supporters of Danubio and Nacional invaded the pitch, beating each other with iron rods and corner flags.

It took more than 100 police to quell the violence, although there were no arrests or injuries reported.

The Uruguayan football tournament was suspended for several weeks in 2006 after a fan was stabbed to death.

"The Executive Committee has decided to suspend, as a preventative measure, the activity in the professional first division until further notice," a statement from the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) said.

Pitch invasion

Sunday's violence flared at the Jardines del Hipodromo stadium, in Montevideo, Uruguay's capital, after home team Danubio beat Nacional 1-0.

The victory mean Danubio leapfrogged their rivals to hit the top of the league table.

But after the final whistle blew Nacional fans broke down fencing and invaded the pitch.

Enraged Danubio fans then also invaded the field and a 15-minute pitched battle followed.

Danubio's president, Arturo del Campo, said that he supported the AUF's decision to indefinitely suspend the championship.

"I think it is the first measure we needed to take before looking for solutions for the problem," he told radio station Sport890.

Uruguay's football championship was also suspended for several weeks in 2006 after a Cerro fan was stabbed to death in front of his wife and children by supporters of rivals Penarol near the Centenario stadium in Montevideo.

Uruguay's domestic football championship has suffered from the continual export of top players to major leagues elsewhere in Latin America and in Europe, and even top games are often played in front of small crowds in outdated stadia.

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Country profile: Uruguay
23 Oct 08 |  Country profiles

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