Argentina combats violence in football: 128 hooligans banned from stadiums during four years
More than 100 members of Boca Junior’s ‘barra bravas’ – among them hooligan leaders Rafael Di Zeo and Mauro Martín – will not be able to enter Argentine football stadiums for the next four years, according to a resolution posted in the Argentine Official Gazette on Thursday.
The measure, laid out in a resolution issued by the Dirección Nacional de Seguridad de Espectáculos Deportivos (National Directorate for the Safety of Sporting Events), affects a total of 128 football hooligans who are currently facing prosecution in the courts for criminal offences.
Under its terms the hooligans – including Di Zeo and Martín, who were handed two-year bans in April 2017 – will now be unable matches for four years. The ban does not apply to games Boca plays outside of Argentina, which do not fall under the government’s jurisdiction.
The move is part of a government-led bit to tackle Argentina’s endemic problems with hooliganism and violence related to football matches in Argentina. The country’s politicians have been wrestling with the problem of football hooligans for years. The issue attracted international attention last November when the second leg of the all-Argentine Copa Libertadores final was cancelled after River Plate fans attacked the Boca team bus.
President Mauricio Macri administration is seeking to introduce a new bill to Congress that would increase penalties for fans engaging in illegal activity at local football matches. The government, which originally wanted to introduce legislation to that end in 2016, wants to stiffen existing penalties for crimes that take place in and around stadiums.
Salvemos del Futbol, an Argentine group founded to fight violence in football, lists 10 football related deaths in 2018 and 143 in the last 20 years.
Away fans have been banned at matches in the Argentine Superliga since 2013, and though the ban was relaxed last August, it still applies to fans of the five biggest clubs