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Sports journalists harassed by football fans

(Fundamedios/IFEX) - On 19 March 2011, sports journalists Pedro Anibal Fernández, Ramón Morales Verduga and Héctor Barre were attacked by fans of the Portoviejo University Sports League (LDUP) at the end of a football match at the Reales Tamarindo stadium in the town of Portoviejo, capital of the coastal province of Manabí, located 329 kilometers southwest of Quito.

The journalists said that at the end of the match between LDUP and the Technical University of Cotopaxi (UTC) some fans, annoyed over the tied game, lunged at them with such force that they had to leave the stadium escorted by police.

The journalists, who work for Radio Escándalo and Capital Televisión, filed a formal complaint with the Manabí District Attorney's Office requesting an investigation into the incident. As evidence they presented a video showing eight people making obscene gestures and uttering insults.

Morales Verduga told Fundamedios that he and his colleagues have recently adopted a critical stance against the leadership of the Portoviejo League because of the team's poor performance, and they believe this may have been the reason for the aggressive actions against them.

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