Fans riot after church devotees deface murals at Alianza Lima stadium in land dispute

Alianza Lima fans reacted after the club accused an evangelical church of an "invasion" of their property.

A riot broke out in Peru on Monday after devotees of an evangelical church defaced murals and attempted to barricade themselves into the car park at Alianza Lima's stadium over a land dispute.

A reported 1,500 construction hat-wearing supporters of the Iglesia Cristiana Mundial El Aposento Alto church managed to get themselves into the car park next to Alianza's stadium at dawn, taking advantage of a lack of security at that time of day.

They graffitied on existing murals of the club's crest and historical players after welding shut some of the main entrances to the car park, and the reaction from Alianza's 'ultra' fans sparked a riot.

The church claims to have bought land – which encompasses the club's current training pitches and the parking lot – next to the Mutate stadium from its previous owner.

However, the land was expropriated from the alleged seller in 1972 and given to Alianza.

The club have insisted in a statement that the land next to their stadium legally belongs to them and implored the evangelists to leave the property after their "invasion".

The statement read: "The club has been affected by what we consider an invasion of our facilities, a fact that has been carried out without a court order and in a precarious and arbitrary manner.

"While it is true that there is a pending issue to be resolved, we are respectful of the legal authorities.

"We ask all Alianza fans, who like us have been affected by this situation, show that we are better in everything."

Alianza also thanked their supporters for correcting the damage made to the murals, with many fans returning later in the day to paint the artwork back on to walls around the stadium.