You would have to be living under the proverbial rock not to know what has been going on in Argentina between fierce rivals Boca Junior and River Plate. This is a battle that Shakespeare would have embraced and clearly made star crossed lovers from. He wouldn’t have had to be very creative because the drama unfolds pretty naturally and there is no shortage of blood and sabotage. But is this real football? or something dark and sinister, like a nightmare from the past that’s reared its ugly head? Is this where we are going or merely were we have come from?
The first leg of the South American version of the Champions League final ended in a 2-2 draw at the home field of Boca Junior. But when the second leg was suppose to transpire the players bus was attacked on their way to the match by hooligans
which left some
players needing serious medical attention. When the game was rescheduled some players were still not fit to play and the game was postponed indefinitely until a better solution could be found. That better solution having the game played in Spain.
Don’t get me wrong, some of it, passion and unwavering devotion to a club, embraces a football culture that sadly seems forgotten. And for tens of thousands to fill La Bombanera for a training is incredible and the fact that neither team is really at the top of their game (Boca holds 5th place while River is quite a few places farther down at 10th) is absolutely astonishing that fans are so involved. But could this be hiding a darker sinister side? Are people embracing this game because it gives them an out to openly hate another group?
The fact the games have been postponed so many times is frightening. But what is more frightening is why the clubs/ government are not protecting the players and the game from the horrors? Maybe I’m naive but the government should be able to bring in enough police and military to protect the players bus to reach the stadium? This is a rivalry between two clubs in the same city. If this cannot be controlled what would happen if there was an all out riot? I find it very hard to believe there is not a better solution. But now thousands of fans will be robbed the opportunity to support their club unless they can afford the pricey airline ticket
to go to Madrid to watch the game. Another concept I’m having trouble wrapping my head around. Why is the Copa Libertadores being played outside of South America? And I’m not the only one with this opinion, Dani Aves has quite a bit to say on the subject, not to mention the God of Argentian football himself Maradona. And how is it fair to River Plate to lose home field advantage, one match was already played at La Bombanera, home of Boca Juniors, which was closed to away fans and now both teams have to travel to Spain? Both teams will be allocated an equal amount of tickets 6,000 miles away. Which just doesn’t seem fair to me.
I find it too convenient that that the games were disturbed so much so that the games had to be rescheduled numerous times. And once the game was rescheduled once, how was security not reinforced? These clubs have always been bitter rivals it was clear hooligans would be there. Why were more measures not taken?
What are your thoughts? Is Spain the best solution? Is there more to the story?