The FIFA World Cup always works as a window through which the world can perceive the customs and behavior of the residents of different countries. And while Argentines tend to stand out for their eagerness to gather in large groups and make their aguante for the national team known, there have also been cases where they made the rounds for much more reprehensible (to say the least) attitudes.
At least 31 Argentines have been banned from attending World Cup matches in the past week. Most due to a street brawl between two barras bravas – groups of Argentine hooligans – that took place before the match against Croatia; others as a result of violent episodes in the stadium during that same match; and three more for producing respective sexist videos, where they ask women who don’t speak Spanish to repeat vulgar phrases.
The last expulsion as a result of this took place today. It was announced on Twitter by Security Minister Patricia Bullrich, who has made sure to tout the actions of ministry officials in Russia and publicize each episode where Argentines had their official Fan IDs revoked.
Marcelo Génova es otro de los argentinos que se dedicó a frenar a una joven en las calles de #Rusia para hacerle decir barbaridades.
Una conducta de abuso sexista que repudiamos, y por la cual le pedimos a las autoridades rusas que le retiren su Fan ID. pic.twitter.com/xVixgLuY53
— Patricia Bullrich (@PatoBullrich) June 26, 2018
Moreover, FIFA imposed a US $106,000 fine to the Argentine Football Association (AFA) due to the behavior of the country’s fans in the match against Croatia, which was not reduced to the mentioned violent episodes, but also included homophobic chants, and the throwing of objects onto the pitch. Cool, guys.
The final amount will be deducted from the amount of money AFA is set to receive for partaking in the competition.
The likelihood of violence ensuing was (is) high, considering that barras bravas always end up attending the World Cup somehow. And even though the Security Ministry sent its Russian counterpart a list with 3,000 barras who weren’t to be allowed in the stadiums, a great number of them traveled anyway, for two reasons: the possibility of tricking the Fan ID system, and the fact that attending the stadiums most of the times is accessory to their goals: making “business” – usually by illegally re-selling tickets – and asserting their superiority with respect to other Argentine barras, by engaging in street fights.
In fact, Infobae reported that the two factions that partook in the mentioned fight from last Thursday – motivated precisely by the ticket resale business – are planning on clashing again today before the match against Nigeria. The goal is the same: establishing dominance over another group and positioning themselves higher up in the food chain that is the violent sector of Argentine football, with the (illegal) economic benefits that come from it. Security Ministry officials have set up an operation along with their Russian counterparts outside the stadium, aimed at preventing that from happening.
However, it is also fair to clarify that most of the 54,000 Argentines who traveled to Russia – according to FIFA stats – have not partaken in events worthy of being repudiated. In fact, there are also videos of Argentines cleaning up after themselves at the end of the match against Croatia and the banderazo – a sort of pep rally – that took place yesterday outside the hotel where the selección is staying.