Claudio Chiqui Tapia: his brief step as a player and the memory of a promotion that was not such

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The president of AFA was a center forward and did not score a goal in 15 games. At some point he spoke of a consecration with Barracas. But the story was a little different.

“From said to fact there is a long way”, the saying goes. And memory often plays a trick over the years. Events that we believe happened in a certain way, in reality they did not. Even, on some occasions, they did not exist. Describes it well Javier Cercas in “Anatomy of an instant”: “We put our memories before those that really happened”. That’s what the checkup is all about.

In this first shipment of “Go check it out!”, the search focused on the football background of Claudio Tapia, the current president of the AFA, as a player of Central Tents and Dock Sud. Especially, his participation – or not – in the 1992 promotion from First D to First C.

On March 29, 2017, Chiqui Tapia was elected president of the AFA. Since then, all the journalistic notes highlighted his humble origins, his activity as a street sweeper and a player for the club that catapulted him to the building on Viamonte Street.

I played in the inferiors and I arrived at First thanks to Five Francisco Calabrese, who put me on. I was 9, center forward, I was looking for it … I did not wrinkle, I have several scars for not wrinkling … “, he said as soon as he assumed his new position. And I add “I was lucky to move up with Barracas on the El Porvenir court after a reduced in which we classified last, after that I retired, “he explained.

In the bustle of the winds of change, no one took the time to check the veracity of the sayings of the new AFA boss. And those phrases and that data are reproduced in every story or profile that is told or written about it.

In December 2018, for the Querido Ascenso section on the website of Clarion, in Guillermo Tagliaferri’s note, the Exact day of debut: July 12, 1986 against Brown de Adrogué.

He Handsome he lost 2-1 and Tapia entered 15 minutes into the second half in place of Santos. Juan José Sánchez was the interim coach of the team, who took the opportunity to raise some of the kids he knew from Reserve.

I miss him in that search in the old magazines archive Only football, one of the few sources to review a synthesis of First D matches (sometimes the newspaper also published Chronicle), is that that was the only match of Tapia in the 14 dates of Opening 86. On another occasion he went to the bank but did not enter. In the two following tournaments (1986/87 and 1987/88), his last name did not appear even in the matches of the Third, which the magazine also published.

The unknown was latent. How many games had Tapia played in the first one in Barracas? When did you do it in Dock Sud? When did it ascend? ¿What memory do you have of a celebration on the field of El Porvenir? It was a tradition in Only football, when a team promoted, present a comprehensive statistical report, with the full names of the squad, the presences and the goals. Barracas ascended in 1989 after winning the octagonal. No news from Tapia. Nor in the ascent of 1992.

But a new search had better results. And it was clear that in the 1989/90 season of Primera C, Tapia played in Dock Sud. He did it regularly in the Third tournament. On July 8, 1989, for the second date, the Than He beat Cambaceres 3-0 and Tapia entered in the 27th minute of the second half. The technician was Bernabé Adolfo Palacios, that champion archer with Chacarita in the 1969 Metro and with Quilmes in the 1978 Metro.

Of the First and Third tournament of this season 38 dates were disputed and Tapia played a lot in the previous category and scored a couple of goals. Not much, it’s true. By the end of the tournament, one of the top scorers in the category was current Arsenal manager Sergio Rondina, who played in Midland, with 12 wins.

Until the chance to play in First came. On March 3, 1990 against Defensores Unidos (3-0) he went to the bench but Carlos Vera, the coach, did not make him enter. Finally, on March 24, against Alem (1-0), he was the 9th starter. He was replaced by Hel 20 minutes into the second half and the magazine rated him a 5. The following date he played his second and last game in the First of the Than, against Claypole (0-1), after entering with 20 minutes remaining for Pastorini. Then he went back to the Third.

After the end of the season, Tapia returned to Barracas, which began to play the 1990 D tournament only on the sixth date. And there Tapia appeared as the starter, on May 27, in a 1-1 with Brown.

Only 18 dates had the championship and Chiqui He played a total of 8 games, without scoring goals, in the first 10 days. Then, he did not appear again in the first team. Barracas finished seventh in his Zone, did not qualify to play the octagonal for the Promotion and his participation continued in a Hex on two wheels whose winner would qualify for the octagonal of the second promotion of the 91/92 season. Those weird things from the AFA, now and always.

The Hexagonal had ten dates and Tapia reappeared in the last three. Barracas equaled the first place with San Martín and they played a tiebreaker to define the classification for the reduced promotion of the following season, in the field of El Porvenir. Eureka! Here is the blurry memory of Tapia.

Barracas won 1-0 with a goal from Norberto Scigliano free kick. “Barracas Central, champion ‘D’ el Hexagonal ”was the title of Soccer Only. “Winner” would have been more appropriate. The champion of that season was Victorian Sands and the other promotion he won Brown from Adrogué.


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