Rowdy Roddy Pibes – Make Way for the Bad Guy Part II

Besides the deportations, the police also paid a visit to the self-proclaimed barra oficial at their hotel in the suburbs of Johannesburg, in a show of force. Fourty-two barras had their details taken and eventually they had to leave as they didn’t have enough money to pay for their stay there. They were warned not to show up at the stadiums in the case that they did not have tickets.

And they appear to be getting a tad desperate. Grondona assured us two Sundays ago that there would be no tickets for any barras. Whether he’s to be believed is another matter. In any case, on Saturday four hooligans went to where the AFA delegates (club officials they’re used to squeezing tightly in Argentina) were munching their golden apples to demand tickets and money. Not happy with the negative response, decibels rose until a swallow fell out of a tree and the police were called.

According to Olé, five showed up trying to get passes that would allow them to pose as volunteers and gain access to all the secret parts of South Africa no-one wants you to see, like Blatter’s candy dungeon lined with the finest Danish pastries, or Messi’s famous play station, which is really just a one-man swingset in bare room.

Maggie, I wish I’d never seen your face
I’ll get on back home one of these days

Let there be no mistake, oh dear, handsome readers, pegamequemegusta is a stickler for justice. During our childhood under a bush in Mountjoy Square, we would cackle as the so-called victims of our glorious capitalist system were led to the flogging house to make their acquaintance with their intellectual equal, the slop bucket. Oh yes, although we would whine so when mother stripped bark from the spindly branches to get extra snap on her lashes, it set in motion a lifelong thirst for the rod that would make Maggie May blush with barely contained jealousy.

So when pegamequemegusta brought you the tale of known hooligans travelling from Argentina with the complicity of the state, their clubs, AFA delegates and perhaps even members of the management team, we were positively vuvuzueling with impotent self-righteousness. How could the courts and magistrates, the police, all those people in the airport who check your passport over and over again, how could they let these people through? How could the chief security chap claim to be ignorant of the presence of known hooligans on the squad’s flight? How could violent thugs pose as ‘social workers’ in a politically militant government-supporting ‘NGO’, Hinchadas Unidas Argentinas [HUA]? The country could no longer be taken seriously, boomed pegamequemegusta.

Even if there was not much of a danger of violence against other fans (except the English, perhaps), and the different factions of barras could work something out between them, it’d still be an embarrassment. Travelling to a World Cup being so far beyond the reach of any normal Argentine, the relatively tiny number of barras that do go do so – besides the football, obviously – for bragging rights, to show their particular club has the graft and cunning to get them there. Yes, it’s all about looks, and the state looks pathetic, weak and corrupt.

In a fine blog piece in Olé today, proper journalist Walter Vargas writes:

Of course the image Argentina has in the world will always be greater and more complex than whatever happens in a World Cup, but try explaining that to whoever ends up being witness to the barras’ infractions that ‘this is just what these misfits do’. [….] And the really cringeworthy part of things? That Maradona, Bilardo, Grondona and the other lads at the top [of the AFA] claim they don’t know or just don’t answer questions about it. A nation of Pontius Pilates.

Meanwhile, the Families of Victims of Violence in Argentine Football (FAVIFA) expanded their ongoing lawsuit against the AFA and Julio Grondona today, accusing the organisation of facilitating the barras’ journey.

Barras arriving in South Africa

Luckily, despite the numerous failures on the Argentine side, the South African police have stepped in and have been harassing the barras all week. They’ve been doing some of the work the Argentine authorities should have done in the first place. Andrés Pillín [the Menace] Bracamonte, head of Rosario Central’s core hooligan faction, was given permission to leave the country last Friday by magistrate Silvia Lamperti but the Immigration people in Pretoria didn’t give a hoot. Back on the plane, son. Tucumán legislator María del Pilar Prieto had refused permission to Sergio Gustavo Flay Roldán, who is on parole for the attempted murder of a 14 year old, to leave the country but he went anyway. He, too, was sent back home.

One of the most intriguing deportations, however, was that of Pablo Bebote [Babyface] Álvarez, leader of the Independiente barra brava. Hinchadas Unidas Argentinas [Argentine Fans United] look to be by far the biggest group of barras in South Africa and in Álvarez they have now lost their ‘treasurer’. So for the moment it is uncertain whether many of them will even have tickets or money to fund their stay. Losing their leaders bit by bit and finding that, despite all the shenanigans and anecdotes for the grandkids about how they swindled their way there, things are working out about as comfortably as pegamequemegusta’s trip to the bee farm dressed in a pollen suit.

Besides the deportations, the police also paid a visit to the self-proclaimed barra oficial at their hotel in the suburbs of Johannesburg, in a show of force. Fourty-two barras had their details taken and eventually they had to leave as they didn’t have enough money to pay for their stay there. They were warned not to show up at the stadiums in the case that they did not have tickets.

And they appear to be getting a tad desperate. Grondona assured us two Sundays ago that there would be no tickets for any barras. Whether he’s to be believed is another matter. In any case, on Saturday four hooligans went to where the AFA delegates (club officials they’re used to squeezing tightly in Argentina) were munching their golden apples to demand tickets and money. Not happy with the negative response, decibels rose until a swallow fell out of a tree and the police were called.

According to Olé, five showed up trying to get passes that would allow them to pose as volunteers and gain access to all the secret parts of South Africa no-one wants you to see, like Blatter’s candy dungeon lined with the finest Danish pastries, or Messi’s famous play station, which is really just a one-man swing set in bare room.

This is great news. Indeed pegamequemegusta did not expect this turn of events when we were prophesying the death of the last vestiges of Argentine dignity the other day. Justice is being upheld. The lash of the sap on our juvenile behind seems but a moment ago.

Yet now we’ll have leaderless, ticketless thugs hanging around with no money to live for about a month in South Africa. From what pegamequemegusta has seen on the telly so far, certain towns and cities in South Africa bear a great resemblance to the largely low-rise, high density, blocked set-up of Argentina. So we could see a bizarre recurrence of the usual boludoísmo present on Argentine street corners as the barras loaf about continuing their love affair with unproductive non-action (well, we can’t all be bloggers, of course).

Indeed, this has already started to a certain extent: in one of its more successful colour pieces, today’s Olé features a taxi-driver from Santa Fe and a Córdoban couple who are sleeping in a car. They saved up just enough money to make the journey but are still struggling to get by. So one of them, after exchanging pleasantries with some petrol pumpers at a nearby garage, remembered his homeland and grabbed a bucket and a squeegee and began cleaning car windscreens on street corners. There are now three of them on various intersections.:”In the first half hour I made 130 rand – about 18 dollars! At this rate i’ll be sorted!”

But such enterprising behaviour is beyond the mongoloids of the HUA. One un-named social worker threatened: “A lot of shit is gonna start flying round here. What the policía federal have done is bloody insane! They let the lads leave the country and when they get here they get sent back home. It’s a cop-out,” he punned ingeniously, “and they’re not going to get away with it.”

Canchallena are reporting that 100 more HUA barras are travelling today to join up with the 95 that are already in Pretoria. Founder and political mastermind, Marcelo Mallo, will be arriving tomorrow or Thursday and he will have a lot to sort out. If he doesn’t, things could well get nasty. Maybe the lashing came too soon.

Shock as Extremely Talented Footballer with Years at the Top of the Game and Beloved by Millions Puts Pegamequemegusta to Shame

“We should never have been playing there in the first place. The police had warned that there was going to be trouble. People stick their noses in where they’re not needed [….] We were playing in an atmosphere that was ready to explode. Presidents from other clubs butt in to change the decision of a body that had already said there’d be incidents.”

Yesterday pegamequemegusta was rejoicing in the unfettered mischief of the Chacarita fans, while at the same time railing against the stupidity and corruption of the justice system and, to a lesser extent, Boca’s own hooligans (what else are they going to do?). Despite record levels of interest in the fledgling page yesterday, such a glaring contradiction – even if it was noticed – was not commented upon. So it falls to pegamequemegusta itself to retract the silly headline – if not correct it. Elder statesman Verón’s comments on the matter today were quite interesting; while the thought that all these different groups of hooligans will have to share territory in South Africa is enough to bring tears to even the most battle-worn Polakwanean policeman.

La Paternal/Diego Armando Maradona, rickety home to Argentinos Juniors

Chacarita-Estudiantes, besides being a clash between the probable champions and an already relegated team, was also notable for the fact that both teams’ stadiums are currently being renovated/rebuilt. Chacarita have been playing all their home games in Argentinos’ ground. However, there were serious disturbances after their last ‘home’ game against fellow relegation fodder, Atlético de Tucumán, and with the probable champions coming to town it was decided it would be best for all concerned if this game were played in Vélez. Such common sense was the cause of outrage in the offices of Independiente and Argentinos Juniors themselves, who reckoned this could constitute some kind of advantage to their rivals, or at least be more comfortable than the rickety Diego Armando Maradona. After all, apart from their stadium’s name coming from football’s greatest oddball, Argentinos Juniors were originally named Mártires de Chicago after the eight anarchists hanged in the Haymarket Riots of 1806. Common sense never had a chance. Independiente and Argentinos took their noble cause to the sages down at the AFA, who decreed that the game should go ahead after all in La Paternal, Argentinos Junior’s ground. As Diego Morini says in an excellent article in La Nación, “Yeah, exactly, they weren’t even capable of kicking Chacarita out of a ground they don’t even own…”

Verón, who pegamequemegusta has come to love far more off the pitch than on it, revealed today that one did not have to have access to a the internet and a taste for useless trivia to know that there was trouble in store on Sunday:

“We should never have been playing there in the first place. The police had warned that there was going to be trouble. People stick their noses in where they’re not needed [….] We were playing in an atmosphere that was ready to explode. Presidents from other clubs butt in to change the decision of a body that had already said there’d be incidents. Our families go to the matches, too, we have to think about that, too,” reported Olé.

Whatever about the last part, pegamequemegusta was stung by the following: “From the start you could see things were rough. We ensured the Estudiantes fans were kept well apart. Luckily things didn’t get any worse. But this is all about which group thinks it’s toughest. The Estudiantes boys didn’t have a nice time today. Until someone dies we won’t see the end of this shit.”

Firemen struggle with the Chacarita barras

Pegamequemegusta stands by the assertion that the stuff with the hose was hilarious but must admit that the whole affair is a depressing farce. Indeed, the only bone to pick with Verón’s comments is that plenty of people have already died. The lobbying by Independiente and Argentinos was downright disgraceful – they insisted that a match be played in unsafe conditions purely for the slight chance that Estudiantes (playing against a team that had already been relegated, remember!) might slip up. Even worse, however, is the AFA for granting their feeble-minded request. As Verón says, it’s not a question of what exactly happened on Sunday; it’s about what’s right, how things should be done and how even when all the proper procedures are in place common sense can still be overturned.

One even wonders whether the barra brava weren’t trying to get the game suspended on purpose. Pegamequemegusta would never contemplate such a dastardly contrivance as paying the hooligans of another team to have a match suspended, thus leaving the team with no free time with an extra match to play. No such thought would never cross our royal mind.

Old Juan Sebastián was moved to a bout of philosophy this evening, however, and began to consider his future. “I’d love to be on the other side of things, to seat down and discuss things, to be in charge of a club, to have the power to make these decisions. We can certainly do better than this.” You certainly can. The handsome among you, the loyal pegamequemegusta followers will no doubt recall that this has been a heartfelt wish for some time (not least as it would remove him from Argentina’s midfield, ojó). Unlike becoming managers, if ex players, really successful, respected  people, people who aren’t bloody pawns or loopers, people like Passarella and Verón can get power at large clubs like River and Estudiantes, they really can use democracy to effect change. Unlike Riquelme, who is usually right but is far too morose and obstinate for his own good, these guys have the stature to stand up to anybody and would not let themselves be led the sorry dance Román has the last few days. Pegamequemegusta would like to see this, not more farcical scenes in the stands.

Sorry, Seba. Pegáme, que me gusta, che.

Get this man a suit

Bronca para todos – Chacarita, the Best Fans in the World?

The Chacarita fans, needless to say, went mental. The ferocity of their lamentations increased further when Estudiantes went ahead three minutes later. Their distress manifested itself in the form of lighters, toilet seats – particularly strange that there would even be such items in a stadium – and even crates of a well-known soft drink being chucked at the linesman within their reach. The match was suspended for seven minutes until the normal level of madness had been restored.

Despite the peace of a gloriously respected 1st of May yesterday, when no matches were played, there was plenty of anger in the stadiums today. Scenes of bare-chested consternation were most prominent at the Chacarita-Estudiantes game and at Independiente-Boca, both involving fans miffed at the inability of their beloved teams to produce the requisite numbers of eggs.

The first expressions of disquiet came in Chacarita-Estudiantes. Now Argieball followers are well-used to matches lasting much longer than an hour and three quarters: matches tend to start late and half-time usually runs to 18 or 20 minutes. A charming tradition in itself, this ‘problem’ has certainly become exacerbated since the advent of Fútbol para todos – the provision of free-to-air football given the absence of advertising. Indeed, longer breaks between the halves allow the Presidency to tell us all a few more times what an outstanding job they’re doing for us. Yet we were forced to wait even longer for the government’s spectacularly shameless propaganda when the match was stopped for seven minutes in the first half. Chacarita, a very poor team who have already been relegated, were winning one-nil against the South American champions, Estudiantes when the ref, Abal, gave a penalty to the visiting team for a handball. It definitely wasn’t a penalty but it was close enough, leading the referee to cast aside any doubts, and the rules, and Boselli put the ball away after sending off the defender for protesting too much. The Chacarita fans, needless to say, went mental. The ferocity of their lamentations increased further when Estudiantes went ahead three minutes later. Their distress manifested itself in the form of lighters, toilet seats – particularly strange that there would even be such items in a stadium – and even crates of a well-known soft drink being chucked at the linesman within their reach. The match was suspended for seven minutes until the normal level of madness had been restored.

The goals

In the second half, they were back at it again, however. This time it was the turn of the barra brava, far from the action down behind the Estudiantes goal. The firemen had apparently been threatening them with the hose for some time when with the genius peculiar to true hooligans, they somehow, in a manoeuvre which will not be remembered for its solidarity but certainly will be for other reasons, managed to get their restless little mits on said firehose, which in the meantime had been switched on in order to quench their passion with a the greatest dousing of their lives, and turn it on the firemen themselves! Their impromptu party in the terrace made Inter’s aquatic adventures at the Nou Camp look like one of those PD party conferences we all miss so much. As a contest the match was all but over and it would have been suspended but since there are only a few rounds left in the league Estudiantes are booked up with their gruelling Libertadores schedule, the referee once again decided to wait it out.; this time for 20 minutes. According to canchallena.com, the Estudiantes fans amused themselves by cheering San Lorenzo’s goal against their championship rivals, Argentinos Juniors. Chacarita, in any case, appear to have decided their best opportunity for self-expression no longer lies on the pitch, and are seeking to say farewell to the first division in unforgettable fashion. Pegamequemegusta salutes you. Check out the look on the linesman’s face when the fans get the hose:

A rather more incendiary act of the day came in Avellaneda where Boca came back from a goal behind to beat Independiente 3-2 in the brand new Libertadores de América. Pegamequemegusta usually is of the opinion that, apart from las Diablitas Rojas, Independiente are about as charismatic and stylish as … pegamequemegusta. Yet their first goal today was as peachy as their comely cheerleaders.

The Independiente fans were in fine vettle and when a dog found its way onto the pitch, a chorus of “Paleeeermo! Paleeeeeeeeeeeerrrmo!” rang out around the ground.

Soon after, though, young Monzón drilled one in from outside the box and a few minutes later Boca were ahead. Palermo got his revenge with a characteristically awkward bacwards header that appeared to come off his neck. So Boca were 2-1 up at half-time (which lasted 23 minutes), and with 3 minutes to go young Mouche scored a screamer of his own to ensure victory (though there was a late late scare when Independiente knocked in a penalty in injury time). He ran to the half way line swinging his jersey around his head before cupping his hands to his hears a lo Riquelme in front of the seething home fans, who had just seen the faint title hopes disappear like toilet seats in La Paternal. He was duly sent off and stood about arguing vehemently with everybody in sight as he waited for the giant colon to be inflated. Bad baby.

There was probably lots of other aggro, too, but pegamequemegusta is quite taken with Claude le Petit at the current moment so we bid you goodbye goodbye goodbye.*

*Whomsoever places that last literary reference gets a free ticket to Chacarita’s last home game of the season.