Mayhem threatens Copa America, team president

June 27, 2011 - 8:45 AM
Argentina Soccer

Police spray water at River Plate soccer fans to keep them from jumping over the gate and on to the field at the end of an Argentine promotion soccer game with Belgrano in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday June 26, 2011. Legendary club River Plate has been relegated to the Argentine second division for the first time in its 110-year history, going down Sunday after a 1-1 draw with Belgrano in the second leg of a demotion playoff. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The mayhem that swept River Plate's stadium following the famed soccer club's relegation to the second division is threatening the upcoming Copa America and the future of the team's president.

Police on Monday said 89 people were injured and 55 detained in riots sparked by rampaging fans, humiliated by the club's demotion despite a history that includes 33 league title — more than any other Argentine club.

A prosecutor has ordered the stadium closed until the turnstiles can be inspected. There are suggestions the seating capacity of 40,000 was exceeded by 12,000. The stadium also serves as Argentina's national stadium and is set to hold the Copa America final July 24.