ERIC WEIL in BUENOS AIRES: Football hooliganism is a world-wide problem but the difference between Argentina and some other countries, which are not so criminalised, the authorities do something about it. Here they don’t. So the game is being taken over increasingly by the hooligans.
In Spain, parliamentarians are about to pass a law to investigate officials at clubs affected by hooligan trouble because they suspect that these people support the hooligans (as in Argentina).
Sanctions would range from prison sentences (the best thing), loss of points or even relegation.
Here Julio Grondona, the former Argentinian federation (AFA) president, threatened this often during his long reign but never intended to do it.
If such a law had been in force River Plate would not have been anywhere near winning the title while Boca Juniors might be fighting relegation. Meanwhile, there is danger of new fighting by the gangs, maybe in summer games.
Colombia would not let in three River Plate hooligans who were involved in the recent fighting at the second leg of the Copa Sudamerica final.
River president Rodolfo D’Onofrio had said he did not know the hooligans even though some of them appear, from further media reports, to have been employees of the club.
Boca were asked last week to pay for the damage their fans inflicted on trains taking them to the Day of the Fan celebrations.
The club should also be forced to pay for the extensive damage their fans committed after the two previous years’ celebrations.
This would run into millions and if it bankrupts the club, the committee might realise it is best to try and get rid of their beloved hooligans.
A couple of years ago, Prosecutor Campagnoli investigated a ticket scandal at Boca Juniors and found evidence linking club officials, employees and hooligans and also accusing a judge (Canedo) of helping hooligans.
In a ticket scandal at River Plate, Campagnoli also discovered evidence against club officials, employees and hooligans, but was then mysteriously taken off the case and later accused in court of committing some invented judicial irregularities.
Last week also, four deputies presented proposals to counter hooliganism but none of them were new and, not having been approved in the past, stand no chance in the present parliament.