ERIC WEIL in BUENOS AIRES: The presidents of River Plate and Boca Juniors – Rodolfo D’Onofrio and Daniel Angelici – have registered with Argentina’s National Congress proposals for a law against violence and hooliganism.
This is confusing since both clubs have refused steadfastly to bar their hooligan gangs which are among the most dangerous in the country. River and Boca have excused themselves on the grounds that members of these are club members.
One proposal was that the state, not clubs, should be responsible for setting a stadium ban list. However the prospects of this ever being effective is minimal since many police appeaf to turn a blind eye to hooligan.
They also proposed that an anti-hooliganism law should include tough new punishments but this flies in the face of a new penal code, presently being discussed by Congress, which eases rather than toughens many punishments.
Another project presented to the Congress of the Buenos Aires Province proposes that hooligans should be considered criminals so that all their activities – tickets resale, food kiosks, car park charges, drugs of course, – be considered illegal.
Even the Olé journalist, Gustavo Grabia, who has written regularly about the activities of hooligan fans, appears to be giving up the ghost.
He suggested lately that the only way to end the hooligan problem was for ‘real’ fans to stop going to matches which would end with the hooligans in stadiums alone and the clubs losing money.
** The executive committee of the Uruguayan football federation has resigned after state President Jose Mujica withdrew police protection from the home stadiums of top clubs Penarol and Nacional after 40 police officers in injured in violence after a Nacional match.
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