The Superclasico between River Plate and Boca Juniors is a fixture in the world football calendar that’s steeped in history, one that halts all activity in Buenos Aires but also captures the imagination of football fans around the globe. It has witnessed some of the game’s greats take part on either side: Alfredo Di Stefano, Diego Maradona, Enzo Francescoli, Juan Roman Riquelme and Gabriel Batistuta to name just a handful and is credited with being one of the most incredible spectacles in sport.

On 23 June 1968, 74 people died and over 150 were injured trying to exit the stadium after a match between River Plate and Boca Juniors. It remains the largest football-related disaster in Argentina’s history.

The tragedy of Gate 12

Monday marked the fourtieth anniversary of a dark day in the history of football in Argentina and, indeed, across South America. On the 23rd June 1968, as Boca Juniors fans left the Estadio Monumental at the end of a mid-season superclásico, a gate was left less than fully opened under circumstances that remain mysterious to this day, and the result was 71 deaths: the highest death toll of any of Argentina’s stadium disasters

It was June 23, 1968. A River-Boca had finished. At Gate 12 of the Monumental there was an avalanche. 71 fans died, most of them minors. Justice never found guilty. Clarín reconstructed that painful afternoon with new testimonies.

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