Nothing screams “Argentine football” like a massive clusterfuck of all 22 players surrounding a referee, baying for his blood, needing intervention from riot police to halt a very public execution.
You could claim long balls smashed down the center of the park followed by a scything, career-ending scissor tackle also screams “Argentine football,” but that goes without saying really.
This shocking footage comes from yesterday’s literal clash between Huracán and Uruguayan team Peñarol in the Copa Libertadores when Ecuadorian referee Omar Ponce ruled out two stoppage time goals, one for either team. The match ended 0-0 too, denying us the pleasure of some last-gasp drama.
No ref wants to be put in the position of denying both teams a stoppage time goal, especially this side of the Atlantic. European football could learn a thing or two about passion from the Latin Americans, but this is really taking it too far.
All 22 players worked together, footballing allegiances not separating them, to try and brutally murder the referee. Football isn’t divisive. It unifies us in a common hatred for poor refereeing decisions.
Now you may argue that the ref was perfectly entitled to rule out the goals, but since when did anyone care about the ‘right’ decisions? We care about decisions which directly benefit our teams. Plus we love the sense of indignation too – football fans always have something to bitch about; their shitty manager, the bastards on the board and, of course, the short-sighted match officials.
Not that football is incredibly petty, but it can even escalate into full-blown war. Riots after Honduras and El Salvador’s World Cup qualifier in 1969 ignited the pre-existing tensions between the two nations, and El Salvador severed its diplomatic ties with the Honduran government leading to the brief ‘Football War.’ It lasted 100 hours and left 3,000 civilians dead or injured.
A nice cheery note to end on there.