miércoles, 7 de mayo de 2014

Rangers at Lomas de Zamora

Does not was this time Jack Bauer but Jack Daniels who hit my head with that slow influx but well-aimed. We were at the English Club of Lomas de Zamora, although the name could be extended to Britain by the content of the site. You are not surprised, in Argentina existed in the last century a British community when trains and routes it came and helped the freight transportation system and people. Behind a door that did not attract much attention appeared a different world that mixed the culture of pub, darts and tables with those names and legacies of the people who settled here. We were drinking whisky with Stuart, well, he drink it as a goods Scottish, I can not say the same.

Sunday 9:30 AM, train stop from Lomas de Zamora, the meeting point with German friends. Carsten, one of them, follow for many years Rangers, is a Hamburg fan and in England has devotion for West Bromwich Albion. Has this vocation to see any football game, no matter the division, where there is a moving the ball in Argentina, he want to be and document that moment. This time it came with another German, named Dominic, of those people who speak little and observe a lot. Stuart, the local more foreign of the city said we will have breakfast. Not surprising as Stuart unfolds in so different from their origin society, including Lomas, where social unrest and violence are difficult to bear. After a round of coffee began circulating beers, it was really a rare scene to place. Obviously appeared the name of Ally McCoist, very difficult not to mention Ally at this time. Coincidentally, up on a TV were broadcasting Arsenal vs West Bromwich Albion. Amidst the conversation Carsten shouted fucking shoot!!! when West Bromwich became entangled in a decisive play at Emirates. At the side, people were disrupted for a few seconds and followed with their own things.

The first match of the day in Argentina was in Los Andes. Contextualizing, Los Andes playing in the lower divisions, in every sense of the term. Is in a complicated area. We went to the Stadium gates, I asked if we could get tickets, I had to exaggerate a bit and add the came with foreign tourist who wanted to see especially a game of Los Andes, WTF? lolz...The seller looked astonished, and his response was structured, "not, just members", resigned, I retraced my steps. From behind, a man said, "Wait". Among mysteries and thunderous silence, went to a side door where a person sold us tickets at 35 pesos (£2,9) each. Argie style went into action. The man said, "you are going to enter the stadium as relatives of the players" to which I replied "distant relatives", he gave a nervous smiles and said come with me!

First question, can you tell me against you play? The man, sitting in the stands as having been deposited there by a UFO began to hesitate and babbling "...Colegiales". A few minutes later, other fan cautioned the mixing of emphatic German language and the typical English from Scotland and asked whence are you?  After the explanation of the case and in the middle of his speech, the fan said, "Defensores de Belgrano is difficult", I surprised, almost shaken, said "but you do not play against Colegiales? the lad shrugged his shoulders, his face suddenly a host of questions.

Prudently Stuart warned the presence of the double agent, a man wearing an undisguised wig and typical semblant that these secret agents of the CIA in the late '60s (you can see the picture below), jokingly, I approached him to define which was the rival of the day, with a certain disdain and monosyllabic, he said, as if he was saying the obvious "Comunicaciones, flaco (skinny)". After we speak of loyal fans in Scotland, when few fans of Los Andes did not know against whom they played lolz

What looked a monotonous, anodyne game and any synonyms that can think, lacking a concurrency that justified the single opening of the stadium gates began to heat up. From different places, two groups of ultras from the same club began chants aggressive, they never watched the game, and then sounded ridiculous. -I must say that in Argentina for issues related to the violence, there are not public visitors in the stadiums until next season-. I began to ask about. One faction of the hooligans had been benefited by the money and tickets to go to encourage the national team at the next World Cup in Brazil by the president of Association of Argentine football, FIFA vice-president himself. Those few ultras had a badly painted and small flag, which had an image of the World Cup to scare the other fans who will be watching the event of Brazil on television. Crazy!

At halftime, appeared on the pitch, some guys with obvious overweight, furrowed brow. Rugby time! It was a surprise, usually at halftime of an Argie football game at lowers divisions, appears girls with panting silhouettes, these beauties often indescribable. In this case, no, but sweaty boys that only thing they did was ruin even the very poor pitch. They ran from one side to another, a succession of tackles that raised the lethargic concurrence. Just missing the ritual of the Haka to give a tone blaze of glory to the day.

At the end of the game, which already was eternal, a fan started insulting the keeper of his team, who shaken wanted to leave the game to go hit directly, something like a Mayweather-Maidana. From one side of the grilles that separate the popular tribune of the particular stands, a horde of belligerents approached insulting and spitting on that particular fan. A few minutes later, Los Andes scored the winning goal in injury time. Mixed emotions, the anger had turned into excitement and the alleged fan was lost in the joyful crowd to not take a beating.

Next destination La Plata, after saying goodbye and gracias to Stuart, we went with Carsten by train from Constitución from my city. The journey is really bleak and puts into perspective the endemic poverty that overwhelms different sectors of society in Argentina. Gimnasia is fighting to win the Argentinian championship, the top level here, for the first time in the history. It is one of the two most popular teams in my city (with Estudiantes) and the game on Sunday afternoon turn on all the expectations with three games left in the tournament. For that reason, the newspapers of the day said a classic word, sold out.

The challenge was to get tickets, some not so difficult here for unofficial channels but requires management of the situation and sometimes dealing with complicated people. I told Carsten not to speak because opportunists are mouth is watering when they see a foreign tourist. Then I began to ask, after previous observation. I received some indication of possible locations. I went to hoolingans, it was not foggy of London, but a smoky place of weeds. A hooligan sector often receive free tickets from the board of the clubs, is a form of collusion that fund movements of this fan to watch games across the country. Argentina is also complicated in this respect, there is a coexistence and interact between the ultras and politics. All is bullshit.

I ask, a boy, lanky, haggard, lost in a parallel dimension, said imperatively, "you wait" and he disappeared into the mass. When he returned, it was with two very crumpled papers. And he said "100 pesos each". Finally managed two tickets for 100 pesos. We looked at the tickets and I continued distrust to reach the gates. We spent the first control smoothly. In the second control, a policeman warned that I was carrying a bag of books, -Stuart had previously provided me, were Rangers books and one of English slang words-. He sent me to speak with an police commander. A man of brown complexion, intimidating face and disector of people. The answer was dry, harp, "you can not get with that". Immediately, I opened the bag and I said, "but is a book by  John Greig!!!!!!!!"Although surprised, he remained in place, Casten entered alone to stadium and I came home...to read the biography of John Greig.

                                                       Super agent, camouflaged with a wig

Aye, raise my hands, then they were robbing at gunpoint. In a packed stadium of fans saw a vibrant, exciting, delightful game lolz
 The best, a rugby match at halftime.

Influence peddling. Asking the "law" about the opponent's turn.

Hernán, Henry, Stuart and Super-Ally (Rangers in Argentina)

Nikica Jelavic 18

Nikica Jelavic 18

We Are Not Neil Lennon!

We Are Not Neil Lennon!

Spot The Difference

Spot The Difference