Amid angry protests, Argentina's football season is suspended due to debts

Ronaldo Assis de Moreira Analyst IIAugust 5, 2009

Symbolic of the financial downturn affecting most corners of the globe, the kick-off to the Argentine football season was put on hold indefinitely on Tuesday as the Argentina Football Association (AFA) called a hiatus on matches until a solution to massive debts dogging Argentine football can be found.

AFA president Julio Grondona held talks on the debt crisis with the government’s chief tax officer, Ricardo Echegaray, and Sergio Marchi, secretary general of the players’ union, Futbolistas Argentinos Agremiados. But with no immediate solution agreed upon between the parties, it was decided to postpone to start of the Apertura season which was scheduled to start on August 14.

As may have been expected, the news met with anger and frustration from Argentine football fans throughout the country, and in response a group of a hundred or so fans were bussed to the AFA headquarters in central Buenos Aires to protest. The mob threw stones at the building breaking windows, sprayed graffiti on the wall, and shouted insults at Grondona.

In particular, the mob scrawled “Julio Grondona thief” on the wall on the AFA building, and handed out leaflets saying “Grondona, liar and traitor … resign now” before police eventually dispersed the demonstrators.

Of the potential solutions being banded about to solve the crisis, gaining most traction is the idea that the AFA should receive more money from the revenue of the television deals.

A news report into the protest can be seen here.