Argentinian footballer Franco Nieto dies after being hit by brick

Franco Antonio Nieto, a player in Argentina's third-tier Aimogasta League in La Rioja province, died on Wednesday due to complications after being hit by a brick four days earlier during post-match fan violence.

Nieto's death brings the toll to 15 this year in football-related deaths in Argentina. The non-profit group Salvemos al Football (Let's Save Football) made the announcement on Thursday.

Nieto's club, Tiro Federal, were 3-1 up against Chacarita with 15 minutes left to play on Saturday when fighting broke out among players on the pitch. The referee sent off eight players, three from Tiro Federal and five from Chacarita, before suspending the match.

According to reports, the violence continued outside the venue, at which time Nieto was hit with a brick by Chacarita supporters.

Nieto was taken to Enrique Vera Barros hospital in Buenos Aires where he died on Wednesday, hospital spokesperson Rafael Fernandez told Efe news agency.

"People came to insult him," Pablo Nieto, a nephew of the victim, told Argentinian news channel Todo Noticias. "They kicked him and punched him. He tried to defend himself but he was struck violently in the head. He was operated on Tuesday, and died today."

Police said three assailants were involved.

Fabian Bordon, the regional head of Aimogasta, told TN: "In total there are three detainees. One youth and two adults. All participated in the attack."

The group says at least 14 died in 2013.

"It's horrible,'' said Roque Jaime, a top-ranking police official in Aimogasta. "They beat him, kicked him and, after that, hit him in the read with a rock, which was fatal.''

The 33-year-old Nieto, who played for the club Tiro Federal, was beaten and bashed with rocks on Saturday, and died on Wednesday.

Police in Aimogasta, 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) northwest of Buenos Aires, said Nieto was attacked after the match as he was getting into a car, where his wife and 40-day-old daughter were waiting.

Football violence was endemic in Argentina, with clashes in stadiums but more often on the streets around stadiums, where rival hooligan gangs brawl in turf wars.

The Argentine Football Association has been faulted for doing little. It says the violence simply reflects rising crime rates in the country.