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Guatemalan soccer club fearful after killing

The president of a soccer team whose second-in-command was killed two days ago has also received threats apparently related to the club's poor performance, Guatemalan police said Sunday.

Carmelino Hidalgo, a spokeswoman for police in the northern province of Huehuetenango, said Xinabajul club president Mauro Rodriguez reported receiving threats — as did vice president Carlos Noe Gomez, who was ambushed and shot to death by two men Friday as he left a team meeting.

Xinabajul had been at the bottom of the Guatemalan league, but beat leader Heredia 1-0 on Saturday to climb out of the basement. Rodriguez did not attend the match.

Hidalgo said Rodriguez is receiving protection, but did not specify what measures were being taken to protect him.

Several players and club officials said they were afraid to talk about the killing.

Xinabajul has fanatical followers with a violent reputation, some of whom dub themselves "The Yellow Fever" after the team's colors.

No suspects have been detained in Gomez's murder.

Guatemala's soccer league issued a statement condemning the killing and calling for a serious, thorough investigation.

The killing follows the gruesome discovery in November of the body of Carlos Mercedes Vasquez, a midfielder with Malacateco in the first-division league.

Police said his body had been chopped up and left in five plastic bags in a rural area with a note saying he was killed for "messing with other women."