Independiente’s barrabravas bristle at “no cash” pledge

January 14, 2012

By Rex Gowar

Argentina’s soccer hooligans appear to warm up for a new championship just like their teams with Independiente’s ‘barrabravas’ threatening trouble at an off-season friendly after being told by the club’s new administration “there is no cash”.

The impoverished giants from Avellaneda, record seven-times South American champions, voted in new president Javier Cantero last month who at once confronted the hardcore fans  and told them they would get no funds.

It is common practice in Argentina for barrabravas to demand and get match tickets and funding to travel to away matches under threat of violence in a never-ending cycle of impunity.

Independiente played San Lorenzo in a friendly on Thursday  in Mar del Plata where the barrabravas made their discontent felt with insulting chants at the board and threats against club members and peaceful fans in adjacent stands.

After a meeting with Cantero right after his election victory, barrabrava leader Pablo “Bebote” (babe) Alvarez announced his resignation as leader as if he held an official position, though he is likely to re-emerge during the Clausura championship that kicks off next month.

Cantero called the barrabravas mercenaries, which drew an angry response at Thursday’s game, and told Alvarez the club was destitute and “there is no cash for anyone”.

He told local media he was not afraid of the hooligans but rather “I fear the public scorn of 58,000 club members for not delivering what I said (during the election campaign). I said there was no money for anyone and that’s how it will be”.

Can Cantero continue his rare stand against the barrabravas?

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