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Football fans clash with church members over stadium land dispute in Peru

Alianza Lima fans clashed with members of 'El Aposento Alto' outside the Alejandro Villanueva stadium.
Alianza Lima fans clashed with members of El Aposento Alto outside the Alejandro Villanueva stadium.

At least one person was wounded and several were arrested after football fans clashed with members of an evangelical church in a dispute over who owns a sprawling plaza in front of the main entry to a stadium in Peru.

The club, Alianza Lima, and the religious group El Aposento Alto both claim to own a swath of land next to the Alejandro Villanueva stadium in Lima, where the club has set up installations used for storage and parking.

Early on Monday, hundreds of members of the religious group El Aposento Alto entered the buildings and painted over the club's emblems to set up a church, TV images showed.

The footage shows Alianza Lima supporters giving chase and using sticks to hit members of the religious group, who wore matching shirts and construction hats and shouted "Christ lives!"

Gaston Rodriguez, a Lima police chief, told media gathered outside the stadium that at least one person was wounded and several were arrested.

The attorney for El Aposento Alto, Alberto Santana, told local broadcaster RPP that the religious group had documents showing it had legally purchased the property.

Alianza Lima disputed that, calling it an illegal "invasion" in a statement and warning fans to remain calm. Images of fans repainting the walls were later posted on the club's official Twitter account.

The club is one of the oldest and and most successful in Peruvian football, winning 23 national league titles since it was founded in 1901.

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