Asuncion: Three times South American champions Olimpia captured their first Paraguayan league title in 11 years when they beat Rubio Nu 2-1 in the final of the Clausura championship on Sunday.
Olimpia, who won the league title for last time in 2000 and their third Copa Libertadores in 2002, qualified for South America’s top club competition next year along with Nacional, winners of the Aperture title in the first half of the year.
The side coached by Uruguayan Gerardo Pelusso scored through Argentine Maximiliano Biancucchi and Colombian Francisco Najera to beat Rubio Nu and finish three points ahead of arch-rivals Cerro Porteno, who were held 2-2 by Sol de America.
The mood at Olimpia was not all celebratory, however, after their controversial president Marcelo Recanate’s recent public spat with the team’s four Uruguayan players resulted in veteran midfielder Sergio Orteman vowing to leave the club.
Nine first division club presidents have also called on the Paraguayan Football Association to expel or suspend Recanate for publicly ridiculing the game’s ruling body.
The championship as a whole was marred by incidents of violence among fans, the latest of which forced the suspension of Libertad’s home match with Cerro Porteno two weeks ago after a linesman was injured by a firecracker thrown from the crowd.
Cerro were leading 1-0 at the time and the result remained the same after the remaining 45 minutes were played two days later.
Libertad, Paraguay’s most successful club of the decade with seven league titles, finished third in the standings six points behind Olimpia.
Thousands of police were deployed for the final weekend’s matches for fear of more trouble from “barrabrava” hooligan fans.