Argentina has been without football for six months, but the thread of the ball never stopped

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There have been no games since March, but the Super League disappeared, the internal policies and pressure from Conmebol continue that AFA could not avoid so that 5 teams restart the Copa Libertadores.

It was three months ago. Not even Conmebol had planted its flag to speed up the procedures and push the players onto the field. No start dates or tournament formats were ventured. Argentina averaged 2,500 positive cases of coronavirus per day and Jujuy was one of the five provinces, along with La Pampa, San Luis, Santa Cruz and Chubut, which proudly reported that it had not registered infections for 60 days.

In this scenario, Governor Gerardo Morales gave credence to a rumor that was growing in the halls of football. “They asked me if it was crazy and I said that it is not crazy, because it is being done in other parts of the world and in other sports,” he said. As for example in basketball in Spain, which is doing something similar, choosing a venue and the two teams will finish at that venue. “

Time passed and that idea of ​​installing First Division football in an area that until then had successfully faced the virus seems improbable. Even the search for a smaller, more controlled bolt in each club was not successful.

Positive cases continue to sprout up in the schools. And Argentine football is experiencing the greatest stop in its history. What happened in these six months?

The ball moved out of the court. On June 16, it was the president of the AFA, Claudio Tapia, who put the first carrot on the horizon by informing that the return to training would arrive when the whole country reached phase 4 of isolation. “This will allow maintaining the spirit of football in that none will have a sports advantage,” he said.

Tapia had just been reelected until 2025. All 46 voters had raised their hands at the same time via Zoom. The Super League was diluted through the back door, while a new sign with the name of Professional League and the command of Marcelo Tinelli put the First Division under the wings of the AFA.

June 30 marked another hinge. He laid bare the different social layers that make up Argentine soccer. He made the different realities visible: Hundreds of players in the lower ranks of the Promotion were out of work. The most neglected clubs showed their essential social role by opening their doors to assemble popular pots, to shelter the homeless and function as one more link with the vulnerable population of the neighborhood.

In this scenario, the most powerful hinge came from outside. It was Conmebol that took the reins and forced a change of plans. Those words of Tapia were crushed by the decision of an organization in which Argentine soccer plays balance.

Take one example: on June 19, in the midst of the pandemic, the 72nd Ordinary Congress of Conmebol was held. By videoconference, Ignacio Alonso, president of the Uruguayan Football Association, was announced as the new representative to the FIFA Council. The position of which Chiqui Tapia had been displaced a year earlier for having questioned the organization during the Copa América played in Brazil.

Tapia knows and the Argentine teams know that they are not in a position to kick. They tried to stretch the date of the resumption of the Copa Libertadores, but not only was there no room for negotiation, but Argentina had to join the rest of the South American federations and approve in a timely manner the protocol arranged to host the matches that will begin to play the next week.

The date matches. September 16 will be exactly six months since Colón beat Central 3-1 in Rosario. It was the first date of the Super League Cup. An unprecedented tournament that will no longer be played, under an organization that no longer exists and with an opening day that had a postponed match (Defense and Justice-Students) and another suspended due to the well-known decision that River made not to appear to play against Atlético Tucumán.

Six months later, on September 17, five Argentine teams will take to the field when the country’s health system faces its most delicate moment. River travels to San Pablo, a state where more than 31 thousand people died by Covid-19.

Boca, that one week from the game nor know which players you can count on, will play in Asunción against Libertad. Miguel Angel Russo may not get on the plane, who is still isolated in a preventive way due to the internal outbreak on the campus.

Tigre, who by playing the Cup took a month ahead of his First National competitors, will also play in Paraguay, against Guaraní. This lubecause, the president of the Paraguayan Society of Pneumonology, José Fusillo, he asked the public to take extreme care. And warned than “respirators are no longer available in the public health system. “

The other two Argentine representatives will play as locals: Racing will open the day before Nacional from Uruguay and Defense and Justice will receive Delfín from Ecuador.

The show must go on. Concepts such as “bubble” and “Sanitary corridor”. While the campuses enter and leave the countries without the need to quarantine, the referees have to face a different protocol and must adjust to the isolation that prevails in each nation.


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