ERIC WEIL in BUENOS AIRES: A week ago hooligans from the United Argentine Fans group, intent on travelling to the World Cup, complained that they did not have match tickets. Now they do.
Gilberto Bitancourt Viegas, leader of the Inter Porto Alegre hooligan gang, has said he can provide accommodation for 1,200 hooligans and 200 tickets for them for every one of Argentina’s matches. How did he obtain them? Through politicians free, in exchange for ‘return favours’.
Recently he flew to Buenos Aires to arrange the details with ‘Bebote’ Alvarez, leader of the Independiente gang with whom his gang is also friendly. and later said he had 1,200 tickets of which 600 are guaranteed.
Another question: Where will they find the money? Through raffles, Alvarez said.
Staying in Brazil for the World Cup would cost more than $2,000 dollars (travel, food, etc.) but Alvarez would not expand on how they will source the dollars.
Meanwhile, it remains uncertain whether, finally, Argentina’s government will send the Brazilian authorities a list of their many hooligans who have police records – some serious – which would mean them being stopped at the border or closely watched.
Of course Brazil should not let them in at all, which would be the case in more secure countries, and Argentina should send the list right away, regardless of an judicial decision.
The government’s (in)security secretary Sergio Berni recently has said that, after the World Cup, the ban on fans of visiting team fans entering stadia would be lifted for the capital but not the provinces – although it is difficult to understand what, if anything, has changed the situation since the ban was imposed originally.
Berni and the people who thought up this stupid measure just cannot win.
Olimpo was selling tickets to so-called ‘neutrals’ for the match against River Plate in Bahia Blanca. Then Berni ordered that only club members could enter the stadium. Hence 1,400 River Plate fans duly took out Olimpo membership for a day, of course to Olimpo’s financial benefit.
More Independiente . . .
Finally, the Independiente saga . . . agreement for Javier Cantero’s resignation as president was officially signed last week but it’s not over yet.
Until the elections in July, the club will be administered by 10 of the 11 political groups. The 10, who include CGT union leader Hugo Moyano, hooligan gang leader Alvarez and many people from the previous bad administration under Julio Comparada.
The £1m promised to pay players salaries from February until the expiry of their end-June contracts – main reason for Cantero’s resignation – had not yet appeared at the time of writing.