AFA drops ban on fans

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:35 IST

The Argentine Soccer Federation signaled on Tuesday that it was dropping a week-old ban on rival fans attending soccer matches

AFA drops ban on fans

Buenos Aires:

The Argentine Soccer Federation signaled on Tuesday that it was dropping a week-old ban on rival fans attending soccer matches, moving to quell players' dissatisfaction with the attempt to end fan violence.Executives of the Argentine federation, known as AFA, met on Tuesday and said that they were taking steps to bring the violence-torn first-division season back to normal. At the same time, the executive committee members said that they were immediately ending the week-old restriction barring from matches rival fans who aren't season ticket-holders or club members."The sport of soccer is going back to where it was 15 days ago. The people can return to the stadiums," said Pedro Pompilio, the executive with front-running first-division squad Boca Juniors who disclosed the decision.The ban had been imposed to block violent fans known as "barrabravas" from attending matches. Concerns over revenueBut players' union representatives had warned on Monday that they would strike, saying fan attendance is crucial to raising ticket revenue and paying athlete salaries.Fan violence or threats of violence have forced several match suspensions during the current Apertura season.Argentine players' union chief Sergio Marchi had called on AFA to guarantee security at matches after incidents involving rock-throwing hooligans."The players are afraid and demand security before, during, and after training sessions and matches," Marchi said.Players have threatened to refuse to play in this weekend's 17th round of the Apertura tournament unless appropriate measures are taken.The union said that the AFA's decision last week to bar rival fans was not the answer. (AP)



Topics : Football Argentina
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