Photo: Sebastian Laureano Miranda / Imago7
Eradicate the bars of the stands of the stadiums will not end the violence that is generated among Mexican soccer fansSaid this Sunday Roger Magazine, an academic who studies football fans.
“The bars are not the root of the problem and eliminating them is not going to eliminate the violence in the stadiums. We must not forget the situation in the country, we are in one of the most violent in the worldthe effects of this are seen in many areas, including football, ”explained to Efe the Doctor in Social Anthropology from Johns Hopkins University in the United States.
Mexico is experiencing one of the most violent moments in its history. In 2021 it recorded 33,308 homicidesafter two years with their highest figures, 34,690 murders in 2019 and 34,554 in 2020.
Magazine, who became one of its members for long periods of time to investigate Mexican bars, assured that the “organized fan groups” are not intended to generate violence like the one that happened last week in a massive battle between fans of Querétaro and Atlas that left 26 injured.
“Their purpose has to do with supporting their teams in a passionate and free way, they do not seek violence but they see it as something that happens as a side effect of their passions and just because of this passionate support. When they face rival fans, they reach a conflictive relationship, although for them the physical violence part is something to avoid, ”he said.
The professor at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City said that what happened in Querétaro went through a bad security protocolsomething that, according to their experience, the barristas have asked to improve and have even offered to collaborate with the authorities for its design.
“If there has been an increase in violence among fan groups in the country, it has to do with the fact that when they started about 25 years ago they had a maximum of 100 or 200 members, now we have some groups that have thousands and when you put so many people together there will always be some who tend to violent acts which the same members try to control”.
Magazine, author of the book “Blue and gold like my heart: Masculinity, youth and power in a club of the UNAM Pumas”, asked that barristas stop being stigmatized as criminals.
“In the media, before having an investigation of what happened in an event like the one in Querétaro, they blame the bars, calling them animals, criminals, without talking to them. They are also discriminated against because of their social class, in these groups many people are young men from neighborhoods and popular neighborhoods”, he added.
Regarding the measures taken by the directors of the MX League to control visiting fans by not allowing them to enter visiting stadiums and forcing them to register with credentials to end their anonymity, Magazine believes that they can serve as something momentary and commented that something that could work is to stop selling alcohol in the buildings.
“In stadiums we need security protocols that keep fans apart and it is important that the leaders of the groups participate in the formulation because they are the ones who best understand the practices of their members. You have to listen to them. To end the problem at the root, we need to eliminate violence in Mexico,” he stated.
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