Controls to the limit

Reduce the movement of people on public roads in all aspects. That is the directive that emanates from the Emergency Operational Committee and that has a direct impact on football in Tucumán. That is one of the reasons why Atlético and San Martín could not play on the same day (despite having different schedules). That is why the Annual of the Tucumana League will have to accommodate its programming to business days and not so much to weekends. In the middle, there is a security issue for each show that must be addressed, but which ends up not being a priority given the requirements that exist for police operations due to the new advance of the pandemic. Thus, in order to move forward – in this case with football competition – the most diverse solutions are being used. But there is a problem: specific cases of fans are not paying attention. On the other hand, that is something that in national competition with “Deans” and “Saints” does not occur.

The comings and goings have already brought inconveniences in different spheres, with the cancellation of matches, the postponement of others or the doubling of dates at the last minute. The mess includes the League itself, the Police and (in a way), the leadership of the clubs. And it is precisely the leaders, along with the players and the coaching staff, who end up carrying a situation that exceeds them. If before it was already a serious complication to set up a championship and manage the matches of each date (without going into details, such as the eternal economic problems), with the pandemic and the prevailing social uncertainty, everything became more chaotic.

Jose Jimenez, the main commissioner in charge of Sports Safety since December 2017, ensures that, during the week, they meet in the office of the Deputy Headquarters, in San Miguel and Chile, to discuss different sports issues. And one of them is to put together a pandemic coverage scheme. “In addition, we must avoid all concentrations, that people meet in bars or around stadiums,” he says.

The measure is having consequences. Date 1 of the Annual League could not be played complete, generating unusual situations of scheduled matches that ended up being suspended within hours of taking place. Matchday 2 had the bulk of matches on Friday. And not in all stadiums there were police officers to control the presence of spectators (something that is prohibited by sanitary protocol) and take care of the safety of the protagonists of the show. There were communes and municipalities that provided urban guards so that it could be played. And the clubs went to trusted people, who wore vests that identify them and collaborate to maintain order on the courts. However, it was seen in photos and videos of the league matches, that there were places where not even the presence of uniformed men prevented people from setting up close to the fences, climbing on the walls or occupying a place in the stands. A leader of the San Juan club, Ezequiel Cabello, described the situation: “all the time people are being taken off the field. That is the role of the collaborators, but we have to be vigilant ”.

Most of the matches that have been played so far in the League Annual did not have police officers. On Friday, in stadiums such as Burruyacu, Amalia or Ñuñorco, troops showed up in a van and remained outside. In Ranchillos, for example, there were, like yesterday in Lules.

Improvising controls, solving unexpected situations, seeking to comply with the protocols to avoid problems, in the clubs they are at the limit. Those who should help, the fans, do so in good numbers, but the few who decide to break the regulations complicate everything. How ugly to think that those who say they love their colors are putting dark tones in this enormous effort that means continuing with our football in such difficult days.


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