Several hurt after infighting among Argentina fans in Kochi; house vandalised

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Kochi: Hours after a FIFA World Cup promotional roadshow turned violent in Kerala’s Kollam district, similar fan violence was reported in Kalamassery area of Kochi. If it was rival fan groups that physically engaged each other in Kollam’s Sakthikulangara, in Kochi, however, it was an infighting within the Argentina fanbase.

It was a small argument on Sunday night over the profile of some members of Argentina’s World Cup squad that escalated into major violence. A person’s nasal bridge was broken, a house was vandalised and several individuals suffered minor injuries in the violence, Kerala-based media reported.

A group of Argentina fans had camped near a bar in the Kalamassery area ahead of the inaugural game between Qatar and Ecuador. Ahead of the game, a man identified as Gireesh got into an argument with a fellow Argentina supporter over the profile of some players in the squad. Gireesh got pushed in the chest by a member of the other group, Malayala Manorama reported.

This started the issue, but the tensions died down when the game began as their attention got shifted to a public screening nearby. However, Gireesh went to the house of the man who pushed him earlier with his friends and picked a fight. The gang vandalised the house and the man suffered a broken nose following the assault, the Malayalam daily added.

The victim’s mother fell unconscious in the shock of seeing her son attacked and was shifted to a nearby hospital. A relative of the man was also injured when he tried to stop the attackers. Everyone involved in the incident was the residnents of the same area and knew each other before, the news report added.

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