The world of Argentine football is plunging into a spiral of violence with recent reports of death threats and gunpoint assaults of players and club managers.
Javier Cantero, the president of Independiente football club, who is fighting a personal battle against the ferocious hooligans of his own team, said he feels increasingly isolated, La Nación newspaper wrote today.
Yesterday, three hooligans threatened Racing Club’s Colombian player Giovanni Moreno with a revolver as he left the training pitch. “You gotta put more balls in it,” they allegedly said according to Federico Santander, another Racing player who was with Moreno at the time of the aggression.
“If not, everything will be more complicated.” Pointing the gun at his knee, the aggressors also told him to leave the club if he did not want his career ruined once for all.
According to Argentine media, football hooligans also threatened four managing directors of another club, River Plate, including its president Daniel Passarella. “The premier league or dead,” was allegedly the threat reported by many news sources, in reference to the club’s promotion efforts.
Interviewed by Telam, however, Passarella denied the allegations saying that it was all a “bunch of lies.”
After meeting with the club representatives, menaced football player Moreno decided not to file a case against his aggressors, nor did Turnes, Bravo and Mancusi – respectively vice-president, secretary and spokesperson of the River Plate football club.
There is also the ongoing case of the harsh confrontation between Independiente hooligans and the club’s president, Javier Cantero.
In an exclusive interview with La Nación, Cantero said that if in his club “hooligans are repudiated, at Boca some hooligans are photographed and some of them are asked autographs.
“The support towards us is global. We don’t feel lonely. It’s a social problem; some people idolise the subverted moral values of the hooligans’ leaders. […] No one called me to express his sympathy, but I reckon they will in the next hours,” Cantero declared.
Relations between the barrabravas (football hooligans) and Cantero have becoming increasingly tense since he took leadership. Due to a bomb threat by suspected football hooligans on 11th May, police shut down and inspected a school linked to Independiente Club, a first division club from Avellaneda, a city south of Buenos Aires.
Hooligans accuse their president of illegitimately detaining the club flags carrying the colours of Independiente, something considered an act of extreme outrage in the hooligans’ code of honour.
His second in line, vicepresident Claudo Keblaitis, recently received death threats and asked for 30 days leave due to the distressing situation.