Gianluca Prestianni of Velez Sarsfield says he was hit twice in the face and is rethinking whether to stay at the club
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Uruguayan defender Diego Godin’s farewell match ended with his team Velez Sarsfield losing to Huracan, sparking a violent incident on Sunday, as some of the Argentine club’s own fans viciously attacked the players, assaulting them at gunpoint.
When the team returned to their training camp at the Villa Olimpica Stadium hours after the match, they suffered a brutal visit from the club’s supporters, as cars ambushed some of the players.
“We arrived (at the Stadium) to get our cars and go home. We came out and it was all dark when the cars of the ‘Barra Brava’ came across us. There were probably five or six of them,” striker Gianluca Prestianni told ESPN on Monday.
“They hit me twice in the face while grabbing me by the jacket. I was too scared and my teammates didn’t want to go home in case they were followed.
The violence came after Diego Godin’s final game as a footballer before retirement.
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“They even told one of them: ‘Get out of the car or I’ll shoot you twice in the legs,’” the 17-year-old forward said, adding that the incident is making him rethink staying at the club.
Former Boca Juniors defender Leonardo Jara was the one who received the threat. “They crossed a car in front of me, they wanted me to get out of mine and said they were going to shoot me in the legs,” he told a radio local program.
Forward Santiago Castro and defender Francisco Ortega were also involved in the incident.
“Atletico Velez regrets and strongly repudiates the intimidating situation experienced last night by some of our first team players in the vicinity of the Villa Olimpica,” the club said in a statement.
Local media reported that the players decided not to file a police complaint, but were summoned for criminal investigation, and coach Sebastian Mendez informed the directors that the team would not return to training until security is guaranteed.
With only five wins in 27 games, Velez finished 25th out of 28 after the loss in the last round of the Argentine Professional League.