Argentina mourns tragic death of young TV reporter at World Cup

The Rio Report

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Argentina fans and players at the World Cup are in mourning after a young female journalist was tragically killed in an accident while covering the World Cup in Brazil.

Maria Soledad Fernandez, a 26-year-old TV reporter for DirecTV Sports and daughter of prominent Argentine journalist Miguel 'Titi' Fernandez, died in a car crash on her way back to Belo Horizonte from Sao Paulo. Two of her colleagues, Juan Daniel Berazegueti and Fernando Javier Bruno, were injured in the accident. Both are stable and out of danger.

Local authorities said the car lost control after a collision with another vehicle and fell off a cliff on the BR-391 road near the town of Oliveira, with Fernandez thrown out of the vehicle when it crashed.

Another vehicle reportedly involved in the accident was spotted soon after at a petrol station with severe damage. The two occupants of that car have been arrested as police begin an investigation.

Argentina's players cancelled a news conference on Wednesday, a day after their World Cup round of 16 victory over Switzerland, to mourn the death.

"The players are extremely saddened by this death because they also feel affected as they are also children and they also have children themselves," Argentina Football Association General Secretary Juan Carlos Crespi said.

"She was much loved."

Team officials and reporters held a minute's silence, with many in tears and clapping.

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"I would like to apologise to media but we will not hold a press conference," Crespi said. "Old people like me are also affected because children normally bury their parents, not the other way around."

Earlier on Wednesday Argentina player Sergio Aguero, recovering from a thigh strain since their group game against Nigeria, trained lightly with the ball for about 15 minutes, to see the extent of his progress, a team official told reporters.

Argentina, who booked their quarter-final ticket on Tuesday with an 1-0 extra-time win over the Swiss, next face Belgium.

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