Argentina mulls law to curb soccer hooligans at Boca's Bombonera stadiu

Argentina mulls law to curb soccer hooligans

Buenos Aires, Nov 27: After a Copa Libertadores final between Boca Juniors and River Plate had to be suspended twice, after a fan violence incident, Argentine President Mauricio Macri said he will introduce harsher laws to tackle hooliganism during games.

In a televised address on Monday, Macri urged lawmakers to pass a bill that would crack down on the so-called Barras Bravas that have cast a long shadow over Argentine football, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We reject the mafias that are often behind this type of violence,” Macri said batting for stricter penalties for football hooligans.

“I hope that after this embarrassment, we can get a law passed in extra sessions of Congress.”

The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) officials were likely to meet representatives of both clubs on Tuesday to decide a new date for the return leg, after the rescheduled Sunday clash was also postponed.

Expressing his bewilderment at the fact that Saturday’s perpetrators were released by police, Macri also said: “The people are free. I don’t understand. I don’t understand in the name of all Argentines,” he said. “I don’t understand the reaction of the justice system.”

This is the first time that Argentina’s two biggest clubs have met in the final of South America’s top club competition.

The River-Boca title decider was originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon but was pushed back by 24 hours after an attack on Boca’s bus left several players injured.

Boca and River drew 2-2 in the first leg of the final at Boca’s Bombonera stadium earlier in November.

Conmebol issued a statement shortly before Sunday’s planned kick-off, confirming the match at River’s Monumental Stadium had again been postponed at Boca’s behest.

The Barras Bravas — the equivalent of ultras in European football — have been a blight on Argentina football for decades.

In 2013, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) banned fans from attending matches in all divisions after a spate of deaths related to fan violence.