We have all known football to be a beautiful game and yet every beauty has a beast hidden close by and the violence in Latin American football, especially Mexico, is probably pandering life to the aforementioned statement.
The world has converged its attention towards Mexico when a video showcased a mass brawl at a game on the 5th of March that left 26 people injured while 14 were arrested. One of the primary spots of bother for the country’s footballing roster with these recent outbreaks of unrest is that they may very well be under FIFA’s radar because of the upcoming 2026 World Cup that is slated to be hosted by them alongside USA and Canada.
The growing unrest in Mexico
To make matters worse, there were other outbreaks outside the Colombian city of Cali where the American and Deportivo Cali fans got involved in an unfortunate fisticuff, pushing Mexico to the fringes of a threatening tailspin that may end up ravaging their footballing fabric forever.
If the aforementioned incidents sound to be isolated, then add to the list the tragic unfolding where a man was shot dead between fans of Atletico Mineiro and Cruzeiro in Brazil. In a shocking revelation, Heloisa Reis, a professor at the Unicamp University of Sao Paulo, quoted, “There is no way to end violence in football, that should be very clear.”
She further added, “But it can be reduced. For that, a very comprehensive public policy is needed.” To make safety the topmost priority, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru have inflicted harsh regulations as jail or cancellation of entire sporting events.
Trying to follow the footsteps of Brazil, Mexico banned the travelling of its football fans to the stadiums but it genuinely lacks the sting considering the fact that the violence simply moves to the streets.
Despite the desperation of Brazil and Argentina to prune down the numbers, yet the death toll between 2009 and 2019 has seen 157 Brazilians dying while Argentina and Colombia have recorded 136 and 170 deaths respectively. These are just the official numbers.
German Gomez, a researcher at the Colombian Association of Sports Studies was heard citing, “The great failure of the policies adopted is that they focus exclusively on the security component.”
If there is one thing that football fans will never like to witness is the unfortunate demise of their fellow counterparts. Rivalry is okay but when it takes the monstrous shape of enmity, that should always be unwelcome to any sport.