Madness and magic from Maradona’s motherland
In the world of Fútbol Para Todos, where all first division games are broadcast live on national TV, we are used to ‘weekends’ stretching into the working week in order to fit in all the games.
Kicking off on Friday night and finishing on Monday has, so far, been the longest ‘weekend’ of football. But this weekend, we enter new territory.
Round 14 will start on Friday night, and end late on Tuesday.
It should be the superclásico weekend, but there was a hitch. First of all, the president’s husband, and former president Néstor Kirchner passed away. Given the relationship with AFA, as looked at in this blog, plus the reaction within Argentina to Kirchner’s death, it was probably the correct move to cancel football.
In fact, next season will be called the Néstor Kirchner Clausura, in tribute to the ex-president. In the meantime, the fixtures were all pushed back a week.
This is where the hitch occured. In recent weeks, Núñez has been over run with leather, as Bon Jovi were in town. Then just this week, Sir Paul McCartney has delighted the locals with his 60s repertoire. The very presence of SPM has produced an outbreak of highly gratuitous references to Beatles’ classics in the press, but clearly computers here don’t have an English-language spell check. ‘Help. A need somebody’ is the worst offender so far.
Anyway, joining the Bon Jovi/SPM roll call to play the River Plate stadium this weekend are the Jonas Brothers.
But, it’s also River v Boca.
So it is that the superclásico, after much toing and froing which amounted to a contest between the two supergrandes proving who has the grandest one, will be played on Tuesday night.
This is what the Jonas Brothers look like, if you wondered/cared/own a gun
The pitch needs time to recover after all those thousands of teenyboppers, you see.
In the meantime, the rest of the sides will get on with business.
First up is Huracán – Colón, where the home fans will be split over how to receive Joaquin Larrivey. Should they a) cheer his every touch after he scored around 40 goals in the second division, helping the side win promotion to top flight. Or should they b), throw the most vile and heinous abuse at the striker whose foul on keeper Monzón went unpunished in the title play-off a year ago between Huracán and Vélez, and from which Vélez scored the winner and logically, won the title. We all know which it will be.
The other game to watch for is Quilmes against Godoy Cruz, although you’ll have to do so on TV. The game is being played at Banfield’s ground and behind closed doors.
Quilmes, 13 games without a win, were subjected to attack by their own ‘fans’ last week after another defeat. The team bus was stoned, while players had their windscreens smashed and scratched as they tried to leave the ground.
Quilmes vice-president, Aníbal Fernández, who also happens to be the government cabinet chief, admitted this week that he knows who the aggressors are. ‘They are two idiots and I hope they are put away for 70 years, and I know one of them very well, he’s a neighbour.’ That what we want to hear! Justice!
Criminals put behind bars! No such luck. Fernández continued: ‘the issue is that nobody will report them to the police.’ Despite his role at the club, despite his role with the government and despite admitting he knows who they are, Fernández himself will not act. Perhaps the large banner held by the Quilmes barra brava which carries the name of his political group has something to do with this. Perhaps not.
Politics aside, Quilmes are in freefall. Godoy Cruz are one of the best sides in the country. There’ll either be a goal-fest, or a historic win for the Brewers. Fixtures
FIXTURES Friday 12th Nov Huracán v Colón, Banfield v Gimnasia Saturday 13th Nov Arsenal v All Boys, Tigre v Estudiantes Sunday 14th Nov Argentinos v San Lorenzo, Quilmes v Godoy Cruz, Independiente v Olimpo, Vélez v Lanús, Newell’s v Racing Tuesday 16th Nov River v Boca.
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