Players at Argentine Nacional B outfit Instituto were put through a chilling ordeal on Monday following defeat against Boca Unidos, as members of the club's Barra Brava intercepted the team bus and told them that they would be killed if promotion to the top flight was not forthcoming.
After spending much of the season as a fixture in the top two of Argentina's second tier, the Cordoba club dropped out of the automatic promotion places thanks to a 3-2 reverse in Corrientes. Thanks to that result, added to victories at the weekend for River Plate and Rosario Central, both teams leapfrog the Gloria to push them into third place.
According to La Voz, however, football matters were overshadowed as members of the barra boarded their vehicle on the way to the airport in the far north of the South American nation.
"There are bullets for all of you," was one of the phrases allegedly directed at the squad, which includes 18-year-old wonderkid and Serie A target Paulo Dybala. "If you don't get promoted we will kill you all," was also reported as one of the grave threats levelled by the violent hooligan faction.
Monday's defeat leaves Instituto two points behind the current pace-setters, as the Cordoba club lie in the promocion play-off places. There are five games left to play in the 2011-12 Nacional B.