What is this madness in a football game? Argentina.
Night strikes mercilessly in the forest of La Plata. A match is played that may determine the local championship. No, it will not be played in the stadium where, among others, U2, Bruno Mars and Roger Waters once played: it will be played on the Gymnastics field. Argentina is this (and much more). A new, modern, European-style stadium is being built, but the main teams are not playing there. Students even reformed their old court, at ages 1 and 57. It was really beautiful. The Unique Stadium is a white elephant. Like in some countries, but different.
Because Argentina is different: a World Cup was not necessary to come to such nonsense. A rich country? No, a country with three-digit annual inflation, growing poverty, corruption, takeover of schools, usurpations, subjugation of institutions. Everything turned around. Wherever you look. we live like this.
Gimnasia-Boca was the match of the date. Of the month. One of those setting a trend as it is in the final stretch of the match. It is organized on a Thursday evening, just as a long weekend begins and in a city adjacent to one of the exits to one of the busiest routes in the country, which leads to the summer centers. Why make it less cumbersome and play it a day early? An unusual move, on a logistically complicated date. Totally unnecessary.
Significant oversale of tickets is mentioned: from 5,000 to 14,000 tickets. Fans who, as usual, arrive just before the start of the game (9.30pm) and want to get inside where they can’t anymore: the stadium has been full for hours. The problems begin. Clutter symptoms. And the Buenos Aires police who oppress. Because she hadn’t been seen for a long time. Chaos ensues. Also fear. Madness breaks out.
The tragicomic Argentina. A few hours earlier, the president of the AFA said, Claudio Chiqui Tapialed the launch of the team’s aircraft for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar at the Ezeiza site. The first imaginary flight, by way of baptism, was to enter a cumulonimbus: its own inconsistency. How is it possible that a match cannot be organized without visiting fans? How is it understood that meetings with a single fan, supposed to support a single team, require 1000 or more police officers? And it all ends in a mess, as if the Argentine bars had confronted the hooligans.
The organization is leaking. Safety leads to uncertainty, casual or casual. How to identify it in an unscrupulous country? But it distills Argentineism. A country that daily circulates on the brink of disaster.
A few days ago, we saw through videos how incidents in Indonesia unleashed a tragedy on a football field. Tear gas, public stampede, desperate invasion of the field, confrontations. There were more than 130 dead. It was great to see the images. And for a moment, given what happened so often in our courts, we thought: Could it be happening here as well or is this something very distant from us, and not just geographically?
The Indonesian Tragedy
The answer came a few days later. Gases, explosions, rubber bullets, real bullets?, blows. Smoke from tear gas spreading through the forest of La Plata, entering the old plank field without permission. We were not in Kosovo but the postcards of horror suggest it.
There are videos of mobileros narrating the terror with the explosions in the background. Was such a police action necessary in a country where pickets are operated daily and no action is taken 99.99% of the time? Why tonight yes and so bold in that way? Questions without an answer. Or maybe with many.
at least there is one died of heart disease when he left the stadium. For Buenos Aires Security Minister Sergio Berni, “heart failure had nothing to do with the episodes experienced.” Quirky look indeed. There are serious injuries, of more than a hundred people affected. Of lost boys, desperately running in the middle of the stampede and in the shadows. From parents who were also much more desperate for their children, when they had chosen to go to a professional football game tonight. A family outing that leads to a night of nightmares, very real.
Tomorrow, in a few weeks, there will be a champion. Moments later, Chiqui Tapia’s plane flies to the dream of the World Cup. will be left behind football destroyed by intolerance and nonsense. With a VAR that should offer more sporting fairness but generate more controversy than certainty. From mediocre and questioned umpires, to entities bringing the umpires together that are awash in public criticism. A football with more teams than usual and often without relegation. With unreadable tournaments that are sometimes championships and sometimes cups. With union leaders at the head of clubs. With police operations that understand each other less and less. Everything, as if nothing.
The tragic night of the La Plata forest, which could have been worse, will be another chapter of naturalized barbarity. Unfortunately. Like that time of the eruption for Roberto Basile, a racing fan, in the Bombonera. Like Gate 12 in the Monumental in a super classic. Or Adrián Scarerra, the 14-year-old boy who was shot dead in the Boca stands on the Independiente field. Or Saturnino Cabrera, who died after being hit by a piece of iron thrown from a gallery in La Boca. Symptoms of insanity brought to a court or its environs over the centuries. And they are only a handful.