Argentina has suspended all football matches with immediate effect following a shock assassination attempt on the country’s vice-president.
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, 69, was targeted outside her home in Buenos Aires, on Thursday evening, September 1, when a gunman pulled the trigger, but the weapon, which was loaded with five bullets, failed to fire.
The Argentine Football Association has now announced all games will be suspended after the government declared a national holiday, so ‘the Argentine people can to speak out in defence of life, democracy’.
The alleged would-be assassin has been named as Fernando Montiel, a 35-year-old Brazilian, who was quickly arrested at the scene.
The powerful politician, who served as president from 2007 to 2015 and was previously the first lady to her president husband Nestor from 2003 to 2007, is in the middle of a corruption trial and was returning home from court.
Her home has been mobbed with protesters and supporters in recent days after she was accused of defrauding the state.
The incident has shocked Argentina, with the country’s president, Alberto Fernandez, addressing citizens and describing it as ‘the most serious that has happened since the recovery of democracy’.
‘Social peace has been altered,’ RMC quoted President Fernandez. ‘For this reason, I have made arrangements to declare tomorrow a national holiday so that, in peace and harmony, the Argentine people can to speak out in defence of life, democracy and in solidarity with our vice-president.
‘The people of Argentina want to live in democracy and peace and our government is firmly committed to working every day so that we can achieve this.’
The President added: ‘Cristina remains alive because, for some reason, the weapon that had five bullets did not fire despite having been triggered.’
‘Such a reality affects the Argentine people and in particular those of us who are her colleagues, who embrace her in solidarity with all our love.
‘This attack deserves the strongest repudiation from all political sectors, from all the men and women who make up the republic. This incident affects our democracy.’
The 69-year-old previously served as the 54th President of Argentina from 2007 to 2015.