River Plate appoint Almeyda as new coach

Buenos Aires: Fallen Argentine football giants River Plate have appointed Matias Almeyda to be their new manager with a prime objective of getting the side back into the first division.

The famous Buenos Aires outfit were relegated from the country`s top division Sunday for the first time in their 110-year history, amid tears and scenes of violence from disgruntled dans.

"At this important stage, it is worth noting the attitude of Juan Jose Lopez who left his post in a dignified manner and the unanimity behind the appointment of Matias Almeyda," club president Daniel Passarella said in a press statement.

The 37-year-old Almeyda is a former Argentine international who started his career at River Plate, spent some years playing in Italy, and then returned to the club in 2009 playing in midfield and taking on the role of skipper.

It will be his first coaching job, replacing Lopez who had been in charge since the start of the 2010 season.

River Plate, known as the Millionaires, are Argentina`s most successful club with 33 championships to their name, and their rivalry with Boca Juniors, based in the same city, is one of the most intense in all sport.

But there will be no Superclasicos next season unless the two sides draw each other in a cup competition, after River Plate were held 1-1 at home in the second leg of a promotion-relegation playoff with lowly Belgrano de Cordoba.

The Primera B side had won the first leg 2-0, meaning River Plate had to win by two clear goals to stay up under the play-off system rules.

The violence that followed the match left 68 people injured including 25 policemen and the authorities have ordered that the club`s Monumental Stadium to be closed for at least a week to allow for an investigation into the incidents.

Bureau Report

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