ERIC WEIL in BUENOS AIRES: The boss has changed -Luis Segura, Argentinos Juniors’ president, having stepped up from being 1st vice-president following the death of Julio Grondona – but the staff and club officials have not changed and the indecisions continue.
The latest ruse of clubs, which seems ridiculous and which Grondona might never have stood for, are complaints that their rivals have had an extra day’s rest before meeting them.
In the case of the South American Cup tie second leg between Rosario Central and Boca Juniors, for example, the second named complained that the Rosario club, playing its league match on a Saturday, will have an extra day’s rest. The AFA solution was to postpone the match by a day.
The clubs will now each have an extra day’s rest, but Central will still have a day more. Unless these kinds of complaints are refused immediately – Grondona would probably not have put up with it – they will increase and make fixture making more complicated, also for the TV programming as well as the fans.
To avoid TV problems, another cup tie between River Plate and Mendoza’s Godoy Cruz has been moved forward by a day, but this could easily bring more of the same kind of complaints.
But partly to avoid this, midweek games, scheduled for September 24, will now be played at the week-end of September 27.
This means that the end of the championship has been postponed by a week and will finish on December 7 instead of November 30.
Continual changes during a championship should not be made, although it is a local custom for not thinking before making decisions, but the September 24 round would have included the River-Boca classic and playing that during the week in the evening would have been madness.
But there was yet another wise decision regarding the much maligned Copa Argentina which is at its eighth-final round stage.
As mentioned in the past, to make this tournament more popular, all matches of the same round should be played during the same week and also at the venue of the of one of the clubs instead of making both teams travel to a far away province to play if both do not come from anywhere near.
The Huracán v Banfield match will now not be played in San Juan, but at Huracan’s stadium. What would have been the use of making both clubs travel to San Juan? For provincial fans to see Buenos Aires higher division teams? But if they finally take mostly reserves to play anyway!
There is still hope that the AFA will make some needed changes to the Copa Argentina before it dies from lack of interest.