Argentina: Football, the ‘Evita Cup’ and New Security Measures

On August 3, 2012, the national football tournament kicked off in Argentina, and with it, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner made two announcements that will change some aspects of the most popular sport in Argentina.

The first announcement is related to the acts of violence which took place in the first half of 2012. Due to these acts, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) [es] and the Office of the Argentine Presidency [es] signed an agreement [es] to prevent violence. The measure involves the installation of SABED (Biometric System for Admission to Sports Events),  in which fingerprints will allow the entry to stadiums according to the antecedents of each spectator.

Violence in football, inside and outside the stadium, has been present for many years; and violence can be confined to groups called “Barras Bravas’ or not. In her speech [es], President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner reviewed the history of violence in football matches in Argentina, and then concluded:

Y además otra cosa que también tengo que decir, cuando se arman bardos no se arman solamente bardos en la “popu”, se arman también bardos en la platea. Yo he visto agarrarse a piñas en la platea entre gente, inclusive, del mismo club porque tienen diferencias con respecto a la jugada del arbitro, a lo que opinan del técnico, a lo que opinan del fútbol. Así que creo que hacer un reduccionismo de creer que solamente un grupejo identificado puede generar un clima de violencia generalizada, lo hemos visto cuando hay una mala jugada. Lo que tenemos que lograr sí es que los réferis cobren bien, siempre uno tiene una mirada sesgada cuando es hincha, pero a veces yo no entiendo nada y cuando me explican y veo observo que hay cada bombeada que no se puede creer. Y la verdad que cuando hay bombeada la gente se indigna y hasta el más pintado, el más educado por ahí se manda un macanón. Por eso creo que… ya veo mañana titular de Clarín: “Cristina defendió a los barrabravas, confirmado”.

There is something else I want to say, things don't only get messy on popular stands, these things also happen on the more expensive stands. I have seen people fight in the premium stands, even between fans of the same club because they had differences regarding the referee, or have differences about the trainer or differences about plays. So I think that thinking that only a small identified group can generate a climate of generalized violence, we have seen it when there is a bad play as well. What we have to achieve is that referees call out fouls fairly, provided one as a fan always has a biased perspective, but sometimes I do not understand anything and when someone explains it I notice that there are many unfair charges by referees. And the truth is that people get disappointed and even the best dressed up person and the most educated can have a false step. That is why I believe…. I can already see tomorrow's front page headline in the Clarin newspaper: “Cristina backs up barras bravas, it's confirmed”.

The following day, Clarin published the following headline [es]:

Photo: Laura Schneider

Photo: Laura Schneider

Ante la dirigencia del fútbol, Cristina elogió a los barrabravas de todas las canchas.

In front of all the national football leaders, Cristina praised barras bravas.

Another announcement [es] in the President's speech was a request that the national tournament be named “Evita Capitana” (Evita Captain) and that the trophy handed to the champion be called “Copa Evita” (Evita Cup):

Quería también pedirle en este 60º del paso a la inmortalidad de Eva Perón que este próximo campeonato de llame “Campeonato Eva Perón” y que la copa…¿cómo se va a llamar, a ver, adivinen, a ver si son vivos?……….”Evita Capitana”, muchachos, tiene que llamarse la copa, “Evita Capitana” porque además tiene que ver con la capitanía de los clubes, la capitanía de la Selección y la capitanía de la Argentina, por qué no, Evita capitana de la Argentina. Así que, vamos a hacer el campeonato Eva Perón y la copa “Evita Capitana”.

I also wanted to ask, in commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of immortality of Eva Perón, that the tournament be called Campeonato Eva Perón (Eva Perón Championship) and that the trophy…how will it be called?, guess, let's see if you are smart?……”Evita Capitana” (Captain Evita), it also has to do with the club's captain, the captain of the national team and the captain of Argentina, why not, Evita as Argentina's captain. So, let's name the championship Eva Perón and the cup “Evita Captain.”

The reactions did not take long to appear on Twitter, and the hashtag #CopaEvita [es] became a local trend with tweets in favour and against the announcement, like this one by Ro (@stardustblow) [es]:

@stardustblow: La #AFA [Asociación de Fútbol Argentina] y su #CopaEvita. Evita el juego limpio y divertido. Evita eliminar a los barras y violentos. Evita la transparencia. Evita…

@stardustblow: The #AFA [Argentine Football Association] and its #CopaEvita. Evita [avoids (“evita” in Spanish also means “to avoid”)] fair play and fun. Evita [avoids] eliminating barras and the violent. Evita [avoids] transparency. Evita [avoids]…

And the following tweet by Walter (@Walter_D12) [es]:

@Walter D12#copaEvita x dios dejen d usar ese nombre, q estuvo a favor d la politica nazi. Y deposito en su cuenta bancaria tesoros robados d la guerra [sic]

@Walter D12#copaEvita god please stop using this name, of someone who was in favour of Nazi politics. And who deposited in her account treasures stolen from the war

However, Gabriel Gonzales (@sp4rt4cus) [es] writes:



Facu Laser (@facundinho) [es] looks beyond history and the announcements:

@Facundinho: No hay diferencia de género si la copa se llama #EvitaCapitana no?

@Facundinho: There is no gender differentiation if the cup is called #EvitaCapitana [Evita Captain], right?

The blog Toque y Gambeta [es] recalls Eva Duarte's relationship with football:

En 1945 la Federacion Catalana de Fútbol (FCF) organizó la disputa de un torneo que enfrentaría al campeón de la Liga española contra el campeón de la Copa del Generalísimo (antecesora de la actual Copa del Rey), a iniciativa del Cónsul argentino en Barcelona. El certamen se denominó Copa de Oro Argentina en honor a la colonia argentina, que había donado el trofeo. El FC Barcelona consiguió el título al derrotar (5-4) al Athletic de Bilbao el 23 de diciembre de aquel año. La cuestión es que dos años y medio después el torneo se volvió a disputar, ahora patrocinado por la Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF), aunque con el nombre de Copa Eva Duarte de Perón, tras una propuesta del embajador argentino en España, el Doctor Pedro J. RadíoEvita, que se había casado el 22 de octubre de 1945 con el presidente de la República Argentina, Teniente General Juan Domingo Perón, viajó a Madrid y donó el trofeo en disputa. La Copa Eva Duarte de Perón se convertía en la antecesora de la actual Supercopa de España.

In 1945 the Catalan Football Federation (FCF) organized a tournament that would place the Spanish League champion against the champion of the Copa del Generalissimo (the predecessor of the current Copa del Rey), an initiative by the Argentine consul in Barcelona. The event was called Argentina Gold Cup [es] in honor of the colony of Argentina, which had donated the trophy. The Barcelona football club won the title by defeating Athletic of Bilbao (5-4) on December 23 of that year. The point is that two and a half years later the tournament was played again, now sponsored by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), but with the name Copa Eva Duarte de Perón [es], following a proposal by the Argentine ambassador in Spain, Dr. Peter J. Inlays. Evita, who had gotten married on October 22, 1945 with the President of Argentina, Lieutenant General Juan Domingo Perón, traveled to Madrid and donated the trophy in dispute. The Copa Eva Duarte de Peron became the predecessor of the current Super Cup in Spain [es].

1 comment

  • graybarn1


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