May 23, 2013
Racing's armed hooligans threaten Moreno and Santander
Armed Racing Club fans stopped the car of players Giovani Moreno and Federico Santander in the street and threatened to shoot the former in the legs if their team failed to win their next game the latter told reporters.
Colombian playmaker Moreno and Paraguayan striker Santander had just pulled out of Racing Club's training ground in their car when another vehicle pulled in front of them and forced them to stop, Santander said.
Three men got out and threatened Moreno with a gun.
"First came this only man, who told us that he was the leader of the club's barrabrava. They told Gio [Moreno] they would shoot him in the legs and would ruin his career," the Paraguayan player told a radio interview.
"Then things got heavier and the person called for another two men who where in their car. It was a nightmare that went on for almost forty minutes. I thought they were going to shoot Gio. He was terrified as I was. I'm frightened, I don't know what to do. They said that if we did not win the game, we would suffer the consequences.""They told Gio they know where he lives, when he goes in and out his home, etc."
Moreno's agent Agustín Jiménez told the Fox Sports cable channel: "They put a gun against his knee."
The incident happened after it was reported that Colombian Moreno could leave the club and join rivals River Plate.
Racing, who face Belgrano on Saturday, have dropped to 16th in the Clausura championship after a string of poor results.
They are 14th out of 20 in the relegation standings which are decided over three seasons.
There were also threats by River Plate hooligans against club president Daniel Passarella and other committee members although Passarella later denied this as well as that vice-president Diego Turnes’ car had been damaged by hooligans.
Argentine clubs are followed by groups of hardcore fans known as barras bravas, who are blamed for the country's chronic hooliganism problem.
They are often given free entry to matches and their travel to away games is subsidised by the club. Furthermore barrabravas are linked to politics as they are given with jobs at different state- run companies, ministries, secretariats, unions and even Congress in exchange of being used as a coercive weapon.
Many groups are split into factions who sometimes fight amongst themselves and often side with club directors in internal political disputes.
They also threaten and attack players of their own team when results go badly.