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Relegation A Grave Situation Indeed

IT'S the ultimate grave situation.

Fans of Gimnasia La Plata looking for help to save the team from relegation to the second division are visiting local cemeteries and praying near the tombs of some of Argentina's former leaders, including Juan Domingo Peron and Raul Alfonsin.

Supporters have also been leaving flowers and other gifts near gravesides in the Recoleta cemetery in Buenos Aires. Curiously, neither Peron nor Alfonsin were Gimnasia fans.

"This is what some fans are doing, but the club has nothing to do with this," Gimnasia spokesman Jose Luis Arrien said. "It's a bit quirky."

The newspaper Clarin said supporters have also been praying at the tomb of the club's former president, Saturnino Perdriel.

Clarin quoted an unnamed fan as saying that Don Saturnino has always helped Gimnasia from the world beyond.

Gimnasia received a boost on Sunday with a 2-1 win at Boca Juniors. With only one round remaining in the regular season, Gimnasia La Plata will be demoted if it loses this weekend to Gimnasia de Jujuy, a team which has already been relegated. Even a victory won't guarantee Gimnasia La Plata stays up, with the club then facing a playoff.


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