Last night’s highly-anticipated match between crosstown rivals River Plate and Boca Juniors is being referred to by the local press this morning as “the worst of football” (La Nacion), “a historic laughing stock” (iProfesional), and “a national shame” .

It’s one thing when your fans demonstrate their “passion” by destroying a downtown McDonald’s, but firing tear gas into the visiting team’s tunnel prior to kickoff goes slightly beyond the bounds of fair play.

But that’s exactly what happened around 22:47 local time when the River Plate players returned to the tunnel at halftime ready to take the pitch at the Bombonera.

Local media are now displaying isolated images showing fans allegedly firing the tear gas which incapacitated seven of River’s starters including Leonardo Ponzio, Gonzalo Martínez, and Sebastian Driussi.

Mercifully, the match was suspended at the 70 minute mark and both teams were ushered off the pitch ducking under the riot shields of a phalanx of Argentine federales.

Social media reaction to the match and the broader symbolic meaning for the status quo in Argentina has been off the charts. Alejo Vetere’s analysis is currently the most read article on LaNacion and sports journalist Claudio Destéfano’s facebook post shows his anger and passion as a fan of Boca Juniors.

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