Argentine match stopped over ref threat

September 11, 2006

BUENOS AIRES, Sept 10 (Reuters) - A match involving Argentine champions Boca Juniors was abandoned at half-time on Sunday amid allegations the referee had been threatened by officials of home team Gimnasia La Plata.

'The referee said he suspended the game because he received threats from the president of Gimnasia and a group of people,' Boca Juniors vice-president Pedro Pompilio told reporters.

Gimnasia president Juan Jose Munoz told Argentine television he had spoken to the referee but denied making any threats.

Gimnasia were winning 1-0 with a penalty converted by Uruguayan striker Santiago Silva in the 29th minute. Referee Daniel Gimenez did not speak to the media.

Boca lead the Apertura championship with a maximum 15 points from five games.

Munoz said he had asked the referee to show solidarity for Gimnasia coach Pedro Troglio, whose father is reported to be ill.

Troglio was sent off for asking the referee to show a yellow card to a Boca player.

'Just before half time, I saw that Pedro was really down, I went into the dressing room and that was careless on my part,' Munoz said.

'I told him (referee Gimenez): I haven't come to question the refereeing, I've come to ask for some solidarity.'

'I swear on my sons that I never said anything else.'

Gimenez, who has a reputation for being a strict disciplinarian and is nicknamed The Sergeant, had angered home fans by showing six yellow cards to Gimnasia in the first half and one to Boca.

The match was the last for Boca coach Alfio Basile, who is leaving to take charge of the Argentine national side.

Basile has been in charge for just over one year, winning the Apertura and Clausura championships in the 2005/6 season and last year's Copa Sudamericana.

Boca are two points ahead of Independiente, River Plate and San Lorenzo, who all won.

Daniel Montenegro scored twice, taking his tally to six goals in as many games, as Independiente, coached by 1986 World Cup winner Jorge Burruchaga, won 4-2 away to Lanus.

River Plate struggled to beat bottom club Quilmes 2-1.

Gonzalo Higuain put River ahead before half-time, Jose Chatruc stunned the Monumental stadium by equalising in the 62nd minute before Paulo Ferrari scored the winner.

Two late goals by striker Andres Silvera gave San Lorenzo a 3-1 win over Rosario Central.