The board of directors of the Barcelona Sporting Club announced that it will bar indefinitely a group of extreme football fans involved in a riot during Sunday’s match with Macara at Monumental Stadium in Guayaquil. More than 40 fans were injured, 12 of them requiring hospitalization, during a mass melee that led to the suspension of the game.
The directors also said they accept the penalties imposed on the team due to the fight and stoppage of play.
The fans involved, known as the Sur Oscura, are mostly single young men who sit in an area of the stadium fenced off from the rest of the crowd. They are famous for their loud chants and drunken raucousness during home games, although violence is generally confined to individual fist fights. Sunday’s riot went over the line, officials say.
As hundreds in the Sur Oscura threw bottles and other objects at each other, referees on the field suspended the game at the 11-minute mark. The game will be finished at a later date, in front of an empty stadium.
Francisco Cevallos, president of the Barcelona club, said the team will restrict those entering the Sur Oscura stadium section to families and is making efforts to identify those involved in the riot through photo and video imagery. He added that the team will not appeal sanctions imposed on the team by the Ecuadorian Federation of Soccer. “We got what we deserve and need to pay the price,” he said.
Cevallos said that he has asked the national prosecutor’s office for assistance is identifying the culprits.
Barcelona are the reigning 2016 Ecuador champions.