Brain-dead Football Fans in Argentina

Pitchinvasion.net contributer Sam Kelly, writing on his own outstanding blog about Argentinian football, brings us some disturbing news as a leading member of River Plate’s leading barra brava (hooligan gang) was possibly shot by a member of a rival barra brava of the same club. Sam’s description reads more like something out of Godfather than anything that should be connected to football.

On Monday night, two men were walking down a street in Buenos Aires and were stopped by three others. Without saying a word, the three pulled out guns and opened fire, seeming to aim at one of the pair in particular. Now, that man is lying brain dead in a Buenos Aires hospital. His name is Gonzalo Acro, and he’s one of the leaders of Los Borrachos del Tablón.

Los Borrachos are, for the uninitiated, River Plate’s main barra brava – hooligan gang – and they’ve had an ongoing dispute for some time now regarding which of two main factions should have control of the terrace. Acro, also an employee of River, was one of the six ringleaders banned from home matches following trouble during the Apertura. Nothing has been confirmed as yet – the identities of the gunmen are unknown – but there’s a strong suspicion that the shooting was the latest part of this turf war.

Be sure to read the rest of the wrap-up of what happened and the possible consequences. Sam has written before for us about the continual problems of Argentinian hooliganism: the central one being just how powerful and connected to the clubs they are. It looks like these problems will almost certainly worsen if this gangland-style killing does indeed turnout to be related to the barra bravas. Or perhaps the authorities will finally realise enough is enough.

Update: Acro died this morning.

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