ERIC WEIL’s Bulletin from Buenos Aires: Not allowing fans of visiting teams into stadiums is one of the most diabolical decisions made by the Argentinian FA but, of course, under orders from Security Minister Sergio Berni who apparently does not understand the situation.
The violence continues, yet it has nothing to do with visiting team fans, but hooligan gangs who now almost produce all the violence in fighting among themselves for a “piece of the cake”.
There would be no problem with allowing visiting team fans to attend matches as long as the hooligans are kept out which authorities seem to be reluctant to do since they do not take positive action.
Luis Morales, former head of the Agency for the Prevention of Violence in Sports (Aprevide) – a long title but with little help and positive action – also says visiting fans should not be allowed back into stadiums, so he does not seem to know either what is happening.
He came up with the “big news” that he gets no support from clubs and named only five which try to fight their hooligans: Estudiantes de La Plata, Olimpo, Deportivo Merlo, Almagro and Independiente, although here there is also little support for the president. Clubs say their hooligans are club members, yet they refuse to expel them.
Morales also says that the long-standing idea of forming a special anti-hooligan police unit is impossible and that 10,000 police cannot be used to escort hooligans to matches.
Of course, if the hooligans were in jail, where they should be, the 10,000 police would not be needed.
AFA chief Julio Grondona finally sees that keeping out visiting club fans is a crime against the sport and wants them back in. He has even been to Government House about it.
But new Aprevide chief Oscar Boccalandro is also against it. He said clubs which do not comply in fighting their hooligans will be heavily punished, but gave no details.
That we would like to see.
He is also one of those dreamers who believes that the AFA-plus ticket system, under which people will have to register for special cards to enter stadiums, will solve the situation when it finally starts.
First announced in 2007, it has been continually postponed and repeatedly announced for “next season”, but this again seems unlikely at most clubs which do not yet have the installations.
It can solve the problem, but will not. The clubs would surely register their hooligans.