Countless thousands of Argentines stood in total disbelief Sunday as one of the country’s greatest soccer clubs lost a key game and dropped out of the nation’s top soccer league.
To put River’s misery into context, this has never happened in the club’s 110-year history.
River’s loss was a catastrophic blow to the hearts of passionate River fans.
Página 12 journalist and River loyalist Fernando Krakowiak described it this way via Twitter:
“I feel as if a loved one died and I don’t need anyone coming to tell me how I should be feeling about it.”
Before the game, Krakowiak had said he was an atheist but that he was praying for River.
“This represents a before and after in the history of Argentine soccer,” said Alejandro Fantino, a television sports analyst who hosts the popular Show del Fútbol.
By Sunday night pundits and talking heads were already debating the political ramifications of the game and violence that ensued afterwards. One policeman was reportedly killed in incidents following the game.
Fans trashed the Monumental stadium while in some cases hapless police stood-by.
Should fans have been allowed into the stadium to watch the game? Should the government have sent in more police? How could River have sunk so lo so fast? Does the club have millions of dollars or millions in debt? Where is its money? Should the club’s president quit or be fired?
The government, which owns the broadcast rights to major-league soccer games through its Futbol para Todos program, doesn’t have the right to broadcast Nacional B games. Could this benefit Grupo Clarin and its sports channel TyC Sports, which can broadcast the games? Will the government tolerate this?
Maybe it was all a conspiracy from the beginning to help Clarin, one of the government’s top enemies?
These are just some of the questions people are asking about River’s historic loss. The debate has only just begun.
*Photo from Télam