It was always going to happen. Unlike other critical moments in the past, no-one has died in a football-related violence episode in recent days. But the situation is unbearable.
After the big Avellaneda derby was abandoned after the Racing Club supporters had a go at the police (with their team losing 2-0), football in Argentina has hit rock bottom and things just couldn’t continue like this.
Countless games have been abandoned because of violence (in every division) and to understand the league standings is a difficult task with all those teams having game-in-hand after several matches were cancelled and that’s just the less important aspect of this whole situation.
Club’s presidents (like Gimnasia´s J.J. MUÑOZ) who invade the referee´s locker room to death-threaten him; hooligans of that club doing the same with their players if they win against Boca Juniors hence benefiting Estudiantes (Gimnasia´s biggest rivals); riots; missile-throwing crowds…
It just got worst and worst and today, some extreme measures have been applied by the AFA.
Here´s a list of these measures:
1. From now on, there’ll be no more away fans attending games from First Division down to Primera D (fifth tier football).
2. No more tickets sold on the day.
3. Access will be only given to members and season-ticket holders.
Another measure was taken to punish Racing Club (in an attempt to give an example of taking measures against a big club so there are no suspicions from fans of smaller clubs who have been always prosecuted by the AFA and bad refereeing decisions against them).
After the trouble caused by Racing fans on Sunday, they have been ordered to play against San Lorenzo in a neutral ground (despite the troubles being caused at Independiente’s ground). Now they’ll play at La Plata’s new stadium and with another of the measures going into action right away, there’ll be no San Lorenzo fans either (remember: no away fans from now on until further notice).
So the first outcome is another classic match between big clubs like Racing and San Lorenzo, being played in an empty stadium.
If you ask me…I rather have this, than the constant non-sense we’re seeing week in and week out in Argentina.
I doubt we’ll reach a final solution to these problems, but I’m glad that at least the authorities are trying something.
Next on the line will be the feared and almost never implemented points deduction for the clubs with trouble-maker hooligans.
All of these measures will be running until 2007 where I’m afraid…things are going to go back to (un)normal. It’s a never-ending story…at least until we remove the real cancer out of football: corrupted club’s board-members.
They use hooligans to help them out with their campaigns, they sell cheap and buy expensive, they fix games and then they pretend to be victims of the whole situation.
Hopefully…before too long, we’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel.