Argentina's football fans 'plan to fight English supporters' at World Cup

Argie football hooligans are planning on causing trouble at this year's World Cup by targeting English fans.

The English will be the second largest contingent of fans after the South Africans, and the Argies are planning on targeting them as tensions rise over the Falkland Islands.

Over 300 known Argie thugs are to travel to South Africa with, unbelievably, the blessing of Argentina's government.

Argentina and England have one of the world's most intense football rivalries which stretches back to before the 1982 Falklands War.

During the 1966 World Cup, England beat Argentina 1-0 in the Quarter Finals. England manager Alf Ramsey refused to allow his players to swap shirts with their opponents, later describing them as 'animals'. England went on to win the World Cup.

Diego Maradona illegally scored against England in the 1986 World Cup Quarter Final with his hand. The Argies went on to win the tournament.

David Beckham was red carded for tapping Diego Simeone on the leg in the Last 16 of the 1998 World Cup, leaving Simeone somehow writhing around like he'd been shot. England also had a goal disallowed.

But England got revenge in 2002, beating Argentina 1-0 in the Group Stages. Argentina failed to make the knock out stages.

Argentina's football fans 'plan to fight English supporters' at World Cup

By Christian Gysin
11th March 2010
Daily Mail

Argentinian football hooligans are planning to target English fans at the World Cup in South Africa as tension mounts over the Falkland Islands.

More than 300 known troublemakers are likely to be allowed to travel to the tournament after supporting the Argentine government at football games and political rallies in recent months.

The controversial move has been given the green light by politicians who have claimed that they want the hooligans to act as 'social agents' - who instead of misbehaving at matches will then tip off police over potential trouble.

Anger: An Argentine soldier holds up a sign saying 'English go home' in Buenos Aires during protests over the Falklands in February

The Government claims that this will help integrate violent fans who were previously alienated.

However, the country's police are highly sceptical about the plan. Twenty officers from the Argentine Federal Police will be travelling to South Africa to help security services there identify and arrest known trouble-makers.

Today there were growing concerns that the dispute over the Falklands could spark violence between the two groups of fans as English hooligans clash with their Argentinian counterparts who are known as 'Barras Bravas'.

One South American expert on football hooliganism described the hard core Argentinian fans as being 'configured like paramilitary task groups.

Pablo Alabarces, who has written on football and political violence at Argentinean games, said: 'The Barras Bravas carry out illegitimate tasks by means of violence and compulsion, and are used by sporting and political leaders for that purpose’.

This season it is believed hundreds of well known 'Barras Bravas' have been promised invitations to South Africa after openly supporting the government politically.

At recent matches banners proclaiming 'Hinchas Unidas Argentinas' (United Argentine Fans) and 'Kirchner Vuelve' - a call for the return of current Prime Minister Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in the 2011 elections - have been on open display.

Football violence is widespread in the South American country and only last week a policeman was shot in the head at a railway station in La Plata.

Hand of God: Diego Maradona handles the ball past Peter Shilton to score the opening goal of the World Cup quarter final in Mexico in 1986

Sergio Rodriguez lost his life as he tried to separate warring fans from Estudiantes and Argentinos Juniors as gunfire and running street battles raged.

'We are always alert to the threat of violence at big football events like the World Cup,' said one senior Argentinian police source last night.

'This year we are expecting greater tension between the Argentine and English fans.

'There has been increased tension over Las Malvinas (Falkland Islands) recently and there is concern that it could be a cause of trouble.'

Last week the head of Argentina's Federal Police, Nestor Valleca, and chief inspector Ricardo Ortega, head of the Department of Public Order, travelled to Zurich for a two day meeting with security chiefs from other participating World Cup countries.

Further meetings are scheduled for April and May before the tournament begins on June 11 with the final taking place on July 11.

England and Argentina are in different qualifying groups but could meet in the quarter finals.

Tension has grown over the Falklands since the UK authorised drilling for oil in the waters around the islands.

Winning goal: David Beckham score the winning penalty against Argentina in the World Cup 2002 in Japan

Argentina has stepped up its demand for sovereignty over the islands, and last month President de Kirchner issued a decree that all boats travelling to and from the Falklands must seek Argentine permission.

On Wednesday up to 100 protesters marched on the British Embassy in Buenos Aires, burning Union Flags and clashing with police.

Argentina invaded the Falklands in April 1982, but their troops were expelled by British forces in a 74-day war which cost the lives of 255 British soldiers and 649 Argentines.

The two countries have a long history of football rivalry dating back to the 1966 World Cup.

After England beat the South Americans 1-0 in the quarter finals, manager Alf Ramsey refused to allow his players to swap shirts with their opponents, later describing them as 'animals'.

The two sides met again at Mexico 1986, with the Falklands War fresh in the minds of many Argentine fans.

Argentina won the quarter final match 2-1 after Diego Maradona's infamous Hand of God goal.

The second round World Cup match at France 1998 was also mired in controversy after David Beckham was sent off and England had a crucial goal disallowed before losing in a penalty shoot-out.

Beckham and England had their revenge in Japan in 2002, when they beat Argentina in the group stages as the former Manchester United and AC Milan star scored the only goal of the match from the penalty spot.
Green rep for the Argentinians

Similar Threads

Cheats face football fans' backlash
by Blackleaf | Aug 15th, 2006