4 dead as rival fans fight before Honduran soccer game

1 / 2
Firefighters carry away a soccer fan affected by tear gas fired by police to break up deadly fights between fans before the start of a game between Motagua and Olimpia, inside the national stadium in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, late Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. (Victor Colindres/La Tribunal via AP)
2 / 2
Soccer fans affected by tear gas fired by police are helped by members of the Red Cross after a deadly fight broke out between fans before the start of a game between Motagua and Olimpia, inside the national stadium in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, late Aug. 17, 2019.(Victor Colindres/La Tribunal via AP)
Updated 19 August 2019

4 dead as rival fans fight before Honduran soccer game

  • The violence began when fans of the Olimpia team threw stones and other objects Saturday evening at a bus carrying Motagua players to the National Stadium

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras: A fourth victim has died from injuries sustained during a fight between fans of the rival Honduran soccer teams Motagua and Olimpia, a hospital spokeswoman said Sunday.
The violence began when fans of the Olimpia team threw stones and other objects Saturday evening at a bus carrying Motagua players to the National Stadium, breaking windows and injuring three players. Emilio Izaguirre, a former player for Scotland’s Celtic club, sustained a cut near his eye. Paraguayan Roberto Moreira and Argentine Jonathan Rougier were also injured by glass fragments.
Bus driver Marcos Castellanos said the vehicle was hit as he drove the Motagua players down a street in the capital of Tegucigalpa.
“We were leaving the hotel when about 250 people attacked the bus with bottles in the street,” said Castellanos, describing the attackers as “furious.”
The National League and police suspended the game, but a fight broke out between fans of the teams at and around the stadium. Fists flew and gunfire was heard before police used tear gas to disperse the crowd.
Hospital spokeswoman Juliette Chavarría said three spectators died Saturday, and a fourth died on Sunday. Officials identified the latest fatality as David Zepeda, 22, who was beaten to death. Three people are in stable condition, Chavarría said.
Police also had to chase rowdy fans out of the hospital, where some arrived to continue the tussle.
Police spokesman Jair Meza said one person with guns was arrested for allegedly participating in the fight.
The stadium will be closed until further notice. The National League did not set a new date for the game to be played.
“We regret these situations and I call on the fans of Olimpia and other teams in the National League to avoid carrying out these acts which damage soccer,” said Olimpia president Rafael Villeda.
Fans of Motagua and Olimpia have engaged in deadly clashes in the past.


Gasol clinches rare NBA-World Cup double as Spain down Argentina

Updated 16 September 2019

Gasol clinches rare NBA-World Cup double as Spain down Argentina

  • Toronto Raptors center Mark Gasol becomes the second player to win an NBA title and a FIBA world gold medal in the same year

 

BEIJING: Three-time All-Star Marc Gasol became only the second man to win an NBA crown and the World Cup in the same year after Spain brushed aside Argentina 95-75 on Sunday.

Spain, who survived double overtime against Australia to reach the final, led throughout in Beijing to win international basketball’s biggest prize a second time.

The only previous occasion was in 2006 with the two Gasol brothers, Marc and older sibling Pau, on the team.

Pau did not feature in China because of injury.

The latest triumph was particularly sweet for the 34-year-old center Gasol, who three months ago also played a key part in the Toronto Raptors’ run to the NBA title.

Gasol, who had 14 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, joins Lamar Odom, a double winner in 2010 with the US and Los Angeles Lakers.

Surprise finalists Argentina had not triumphed since they hosted the inaugural World Cup in 1950.

As a contest, the final was over by the fourth quarter — although the Argentines did rally belatedly to reduce Spain’s previously mighty lead.

Fans of both teams had made it feel more like a football match, decked out in their national colors, chanting loudly and refusing to sit down.

Spain, for whom Ricky Rubio of the Phoenix Suns has been one of the leading players of the tournament in China, surged into a 14-2 lead.

In front of a capacity crowd, Argentina’s 39-year-old talisman Luis Scola could not escape the attentions of Pierre Oriola.

Led by their slick-haired Italian coach Sergio Scariolo, Spain were up 21-14 going into the second quarter and increased their advantage to 43-31 at halftime.

With Rubio prominent, drilling 20 points, Spain never looked like surrendering their lead, repeatedly thwarting Argentina’s suffocated offense.

France roared back after halftime to defeat Australia 67-59 and claim a second World Cup bronze in a row — and extend the Boomers’ long wait for a major medal.

Turkish-based guard Nando De Colo led all scorers with 19 points for France and Nicolas Batum had nine points, six assists, three rebounds and three steals.

The French, one of the tallest teams at the tournament, defeated reigning two-time holders the US in the quarterfinals, but then lost heavily to Argentina.

“For us it’s something very, very special and important we did it after a very difficult first half,” French coach Vincent Collet said.

“Many teams could have given up, even easy shots we were missing in the first half.

“We started to move the ball better in the second half and that’s why we won this game.”

It was hard on Australia, who similarly led for long periods in their semifinal against Spain.

It is still the best finish for the Boomers, who had never gone beyond the quarterfinals at 11 previous World Cups, but they are yet to claim a medal at the worlds or Olympics.

Deposed champions the US, who were missing their elite names, finished seventh, their lowest position in tournament history.

They did, at least, qualify to defend their Olympic title in Tokyo next summer. With 32 teams, this was the biggest Basketball World Cup ever.

The next one will be in 2023 in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines.