Latin America & Caribbean

World Cup defeat leads to clashes in Buenos Aires

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Media captionPolice and radical fans clashed for three hours in Buenos Aires, as Ignacio de los Reyes reports from the scene

Argentine police have clashed with rioters in the capital Buenos Aires after the country's defeat to Germany in the football World Cup final.

Thousands of people had earlier gathered at the city's Obelisk monument to party despite the result.

However, later in the evening, the scene turned violent as dozens of youths began throwing rocks at police and damaging store fronts.

At least 50 people were detained and 15 police officers were reported injured.

The mood among the crowd that had gathered after the match was initially good-natured, the BBC's Wyre Davies reports from Buenos Aires.

However, late on Sunday evening rioting broke out on the Avenida 9 de Julio, the city's main thoroughfare, our correspondent reports.

Argentine press review

Cronica: The Argentine team has managed again to revive our weak sense of belonging to this country... It has us all decked out with flags, rich and poor, men and women, young and old, minus our usual differences. The World Cup has achieved what neither politics nor religion, much less fashion, could do with Argentine sentiment... But when the euphoria subsides and reason sneaks into our ponderings, we'll discover that it is just a game. Not life, not death, not even the homeland.

Clarin: We could have won, but in the end we lost with dignity to the best in the World Cup. Still, the German steamroller team felt relieved when they raised the Cup [on Sunday]. And people felt some of that because there was more recognition than frustration and bitterness among Argentines. They faced defeat with the conviction of a dream that could have come true, but did not, just by the skin of its teeth.

La Nacion: Beyond the sadness of the moment, there is no reason for tears, but reason for a sense of genuine pride in how the team played. And above all, of what they have given to those who have followed them from near or far. They gave us much more than we expected, not only in terms of football, but also as an example of how a team should work. In a sense, they showed what the country was lacking.

Pagina 12: Our team created more chances than Germany, but these did not turn into goals, not because of the ability of the opposition, or because of bad luck, but because of our team's own inefficiency.

Sour mood

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at rioters, as well as using water cannon. Some incidents of looting were also reported.

Two TV trucks in the area were also set upon by rioters, according to the Clarin newspaper. Ambulances were also reportedly attacked.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The streets in Buenos Aires were littered with debris after police and rioters clashed
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption At least 50 people were detained by the police
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The gathering around the Obelisk was initially good-natured

Local media reported that hardcore football fans were responsible for some of the violence.

Parents could be seen running away from the violence with their children.

Before the violence, many had gathered to celebrate Argentina's performance in the tournament, with many saying they were still proud of the team.

"We have nothing to regret, we played first rate," Horacio Laseira told AP.

At the scene: the BBC's Wyre Davies in Buenos Aires

Nothing quite matches the impact of sporting disappointment, of losing a big final.

Throughout the day, excitement had been building in Buenos Aires. It seemed that all of those Argentine fans who hadn't made the journey north to Rio were descending on the Plaza San Martin in the heart of capital.

Two hours later, the park was a sea of mud, empty beer cans and dashed hopes.

Unlike the host nation, Brazil, who've had a disastrous tournament on the pitch, Argentina have exceeded expectations and came very close to winning their third World Cup title.

The team is expected to arrive back in Buenos Aires from Brazil later on Monday.

"I'm going to the airport to welcome them home and thank them for everything, they deserve it," fan Lorena Hak told Reuters.

Tens of thousands of Argentine supporters had also made the journey to Rio to cheer on their team.

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