Two weeks ago pegamequemegusta shipped to peaceful gringo shores words on the topic of a particularly hate-filled week in Argieball. Chief in the colon-clogging digest was Riquelme’s disturbing tale about political machinations and violent intimidation of the players, principally his royal self, at Boca’s training ground. Pegamequemegusta went to some lengths to impute… ahem, wondered aloud in an treeless wood whether the whole affair had anything to do with Buenos Aires’ Head of Government, Maurico Macri, Dr Colossos to Román’s peace-loving citizenry. Even if this blog is incorrect, the events of the last two weeks seem to have strengthened our Sly Stallone-like grip on the kernel of this particular piece of popcorn.
Shortly after the press conference in which Riquelme explained his apparent snubbing of Palermo, after the latter had just become Boca’s all-time leading scorer, had nothing to do with any beef with his teammate (they’ve developed a workaround on that score). Rather, he revealed that turning his back on the others and celebrating his excellent assist alone was down to a refusal to acknowledge the Boca hooligans, La Doce, in the terrace where they had just scored:
“On Sunday I had an experience which was not in the least bit pleasant. There are things I can take and others I can’t. I think I made that very clear. [….] I think I told one of you [journalists] two or three weeks ago that there was someone behind all these goings-on. Now I’m telling you that there is definitely someone pulling the strings here, and whoever doesn’t recognise it is bloody blind or is pretending to be.”
In the days following this press conference on the 16th April, Riquelme was subpoenaed to give a statement to a grand jury to clarify his remarks and determine of any legal action was necessary. Román did not show up. They issued another summons; Román just went to training and didn’t offer any reason as to his absence, as he is wont to do. The powers that be were not amused by this behaviour so they issued another summons, saying that if he didn’t show up he may have to be brought in “by force under penalty of default”. Riquelme still refused to show up, but this time he signed a statement which his lawyer brought to the grand jury.
What happens next is anyone’s guess. Perhaps the fine gents down at the grand jury will feel that their authorita has been sufficiently respected and the case wound up as inconclusive for lack of corroborating evidence. However, if such is the case the real issue at the centre of all this, violent intimidation, corruption and general nastiness, will have been passed over yet again and another opportunity lost to actually make some inroads into changing the general culture of lies, violence and general bullshit. Riquelme’s own truculence and resignation will mean that what looks like a clear case of political bullying, dressed up, of course, as a fastidious, unrelenting pursuit of justice, will end up being forgotten and/or even used as yet another stick with which to beat the oft-vilified playmaker.
As I said, for someone to have this much grief everywhere he goes you have to wonder if he is not a bit of a weirdo (any blunter a point and this needle will be good for Sheffield, che). Yet this time it seems Riquelme is the injured party and hopefully some steps could be made to not only stand up to La Doce but also to take advantage at what appears to be a case of political interference in the work of the justice system in order to expose those shenanigans, too. In any case, Riquelme’s anthem is fast becoming a Paul Simon character:
It’s the same old story
Everywhere I go,
I get slandered,
I hear words I never heard
In the Bible
And I’m one step ahead of the shoe shine
Two steps away from the county line
Just trying to keep my customers satisfied,