In recent years, the changing character of Argentine political culture has influenced the ways in which groups of soccer fans organize themselves around political and economic goals. Argentine soccer clubs have always had strong ties to local and national politics. In this article, I examine the relationships between Argentine political culture and corruption in soccer since 1976, the year in which the last military regime took power. During the dictatorship, acts of violence were unregulated. The so-called Grupos de Tarea (death squads) found themselves in a position of absolute power, meaning that they had the freedom to act independently without having to justify their actions in front of a centralized authority. Present-day barrabravas (Argentine hooligans) have copied the behaviour of the death squads. Contrary to what happens in other national contexts, the spread of violence in Argentine soccer is encouraged by social leaders through corrupt political and economic arrangements that benefit all parties involved. Being a barrabrava is a full time job based on the use of violence. By using a comparative approach, I emphasize the need to understand local specificities when examining soccer violence in different national contexts. The structure of Argentine soccer allows fans to penetrate the political sphere of soccer clubs. This, in turn, creates an environment where organized groups of fans develop strong ties to club officials. By contrast, soccer violence in Italy and Holland remains apolitical. Soccer hooliganism has no universal causes and no universal solutions.
"The social, political, and economic causes of violence in Argentine soccer,"
1, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.mcmaster.ca/nexus/vol21/iss1/6