The presidents of River and Boca, allies for diversity

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Rodolfo D’Onofrio and Jorge Ameal shared a virtual talk organized by DAIA.

In recent years it has become difficult to see the River and Boca president together or sharing a space. Rodolfo D’Onofrio and Daniel Angelici tried, but after the pepper spray episode in the Bombonera for the round of 16 of the Copa Libertadores 2015 there was a break in the institutional relationship between both clubs. But after the end of the mandate of the Five and the loss of the elections of his political space in the Ribera club, the head of the Núñez institution again built bridges with his successor, Jorge Amor Ameal.

Already last summer they had a good meeting in a restaurant in Puerto Madero. And they recently participated in a virtual meeting for a solidarity campaign together with Juan Carr (Red Solidaria) and the Minister of Social Development of the City of Buenos Aires, María Migliore. There is good vibes between them and they have political coincidences, a fundamental aspect for the future of Argentine football.

It was not surprising then that both accepted the invitation of the Delegation of Israelite Associations of Argentina (DAIA) for a virtual meeting under the slogan “Rivals in football, allies for diversity”, in which they discussed violence, anti-Semitism , xenophobia, racism and gender issues. The zoom, of dialogue open to society and moderated by the journalist Victor Tujschinaider, lasted almost an hour and a half.

One of the topics that was touched on and that continues to generate concern in Argentine soccer is violence. In that sense, D’Onofrio reiterated his fight against the bars at his club. “Since we arrived in River we have tried by all means to end the violence. We have managed to ensure that there are no bars in River. We have no barrabrava. There is an empty space, a hole that shows that they are not there. A fight that Argentine football should It is complex and difficult but what I am convinced of is that we are not discriminating against anyone “, said the president Millionaire. While Ameal agreed: “What we want is to contribute. From our institution, I have no doubt that Rodolfo also, we believe that with sports and education it is possible.”

In reference to this issue, Ameal said: “In our club the best we have is our people encouraging, and when we talk about encouraging we are not talking about violence, since the encouragement has to be in favor, not against, and much less with discriminatory allusions of any kind. The players feel it, and the public has to feel it too, because football has to be a party for the whole family. “

And he added: “you win, you tie and you lose, and of course we always want to win. If we lose we get sad, but life does not end in this, but the meaning of life arises in educating, in setting a good example and that is what we must promote. “

When discrimination was discussed, it was perhaps the most sensitive moment of the talk. And after watching a video in which complex situations were shown, each one gave their opinion.

D’Onofrio did it through a personal experience in Barrio 31 in Capital Federal. “With River we do actions in Barrio 31. And we invite kids to the field. Once when I came back to 31, one of the guys said to me: ‘President, I’m sad. I, a River fan, was surrounded by other fans who shouted as if being Bolivian or Paraguayan was something inferior. Sung against Boca ‘. And against that I have come out to speak many times, it is a real nonsense. I do not forget the cry of that boy. They think they are funny and they damage a community but also the soul of a boy who doesn’t understand the meaning, “said the president of the Núñez club.

“We have to end with these types of stories, it happens to us with Bolivia and Paraguay. I think we have to work, Argentine football is the main sport and our institutions are very important. It would be very important if it does not end in this meeting, but summon our people, from Boca and River, to continue this space. We are doing many things. We have a work plan and the obligation to give a permanent message; we cannot forget this. This has to be an expression of love and affection, can not continue like this, “said Ameal.

Inclusion was another of the central themes. That is why Rodolfo D’Onofrio explained: “At River we are working hard on issues of inclusion. For example, we have created an Advisory Council for the prevention and intervention in situations of discrimination and gender violence. And we have also taken a big step with the issue of the female quota, which allows women to have a guaranteed space within our organization in the next elections ”.

Regarding women’s football, the Boca manager recalled: “We have a competitive team that gives us great pride, but the most important thing is to multiply the category and promote it, that is why we are taking it to the Conurbano and the provinces. We will surely even play again, some previous matches will be women’s football, since it is a form of integration, which 15 years ago would have been unthinkable.

For his part, D’Onofrio believes that “women’s football is going to grow exponentially, it is going to be very strong, and it is a matter of decision and time.” And he added: “Without a doubt, both Boca and River will be part of that locomotive to promote women’s football, since being two shirts that produce a great attraction, we must capitalize on that for the good of sport ”.

The closing was in charge of Jorge Knovoblits, President of DAIA, who stated: “It gives me peace of mind knowing that Argentina can find a different path from the one we imagine, and if there is a place where we should discuss it is in the power of the word, because words matter and it is through one of them that discriminates against, hurts and even kills others. From DAIA we take this collective commitment to work together to promote diversity and fight against all kinds of hate speech ”.

D’Onofrio and Ameal supported those words. Each from their home. At a distance due to the pandemic but getting closer and closer to River and Boca outside the court.



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