Soccer fans clash with church members over stadium plaza
LIMA, Peru (AP) — Soccer fans clashed with members of an evangelical church Monday in a dispute over who owns a sprawling plaza in front of the main entry to a stadium.
Hundreds of members of The Upper Room church wearing yellow construction helmets arrived in buses early in the day and began painting walls, covering over images of famed players from Alianza Lima, one of Peru’s most historic clubs.
Soccer fans soon arrived and the two sides clashed. Police used tear gas to break up the confrontation.
Police Chief Gaston Rodriguez said two of the fans were detained and one of the church members was injured.
The club said in a news release that it has owned the plaza for 40 years. But church attorney Sandro Balbin said the church has been the registered owner of the property since 2016.
The area is now used for concerts, parking and a gathering place for fans. The Upper Room, which has thousands of members across the country, wants to hold worship services there.