save football “Working towards a
transparent and violence-free football”
Our main objective is
to contribute towards change within the football citizenry, offering
a meeting point for all club members (socios) and supporters,
regardless of jerseys or league division, from where to report all
violent or corrupt behaviour surrounding the game. We will stand by
those who for any given reason don’t feel at ease with informing the
authorities. Individual effort,
though noble and exemplary, has been proven ineffective. For there
to be true, profound and lasting change, football-loving people must
come together and act collectively. Football should only
be a sport!!! Never hesitate! Every
single illegal action must be reported to the authorities! We are
here to support you. We truly hope Salvemos
al Football is some day deemed unnecessary and folds. It would mean
that: Everybody feels
safe in a stadium. Courts are just,
and impunity a memory. Corrupt and
violent behaviour has been eradicated from our game. Police forces
developed effective crow control skills. The president of
the Argentina Football Association assumed responsibility and
behaves in an exemplary manner. Until then Salvemos al
Futbol will keep on growing and working hard for all this to
Together with the announcement of the new system of access control
at stadiums, President Cristina Fernández paid homage to football
thieves, known as barrabravas. She was disrespectful and gross to
the grief of many mothers who have lost their sons to barrabravas.
These violent people are taking control of football.
It is the State that must be responsible for guaranteeing public
campaigns against all kinds of violence. However, in this case it
was the State (Government) itself that became involved in supporting
whose members have had trouble with the law for years. This means
that the message of impunity comes from the State, which results in
a heavy blow to the credibility of those in power and, more
importantly, to the hopes of millions of Argentineans who just want
to live in peace and enjoy our passions without blood in our hands.
More than ever before, football is in danger. Saving
it is our duty. We
must all get involved.
can watch President Cristina Fernández's speech (English subtitles
Mónica Nizzardo, president of SAF, at the stand that the
organisation had at the Workshops of the Halic Kongre Merkezi,
together with Williams Gaillard, UEFA’s President Michel Platini’s
assistant, with who she shared a long and relaxed conversation about
problems in football. (Watch video at the bottom)
Last July, between the 13th and 15th, the 5th European Football
Fans’ Congress was held in Istanbul, Turkey. The Football Supporters
Europe currently represents more than 3 million supporters in 41
countries. The three-day event was organised by fans of Fenerbahce,
Besiktas and Galatasaray, who worked together for the first time
despite their known rivalry.
Almost 500 people from 32 countries attended the meeting to share
experiences and discuss possible strategies and activities related
to security and organisation of football events.
Also, the Turkish fans organised the first meeting of their national
network, with the aim of joining forces as fans of rival teams to
let their voices be heard about common interests and solving
security and violence problems in their local football. Such
problems include bans on away fans, illegal ticket sales, among
others. The conclusions were then included in an unprecedented
meeting between fans and the Turkish Football Federation.
People’s growing interest in these issues was evidenced by the great
number of attenders, among which SAF was included.
“It was a very interesting and enriching experience, both personally
and institutionally speaking,” says Mónica Nizzardo. “Every year,
more and more European fans leave rivalries aside and decide to meet
in order to solve the problems they have in common. They have to do
so outside the structure of clubs, because these are companies. This
means that fans do not participate in a club’s decision, unlike in
Argentina, where clubs belong to their members. Travelling and
talking with them makes me realise that we have the perfect system
in Argentina, theoretically speaking, of course. It is a shame that
this system is not appreciated. Corruption exists because there
aren’t any controls or sanctions. If this goes on like this, my feeling is that we are going to lose that system. There are people
that want to convince us that the only way of putting an end to this
is privatising clubs. Others make comparisons to other countries
that have a completely different reality.”
The meeting consisted of several talks and workshops together with
guided tours to the most important stadiums and cities.
Despite not being part of the FSE, I participated in the general
internal meeting where the next authorities were voted for and where
the following statement was issued:
“The FSE asks for Sepp Blatter’s immediate resignation
Fans from all around the continent unanimously asked for the
resignation of FIFA’s president after finding out about his alleged
participation in the honorary president Joao Havelange’s bribery
scandal, which is found in the Swiss Supreme Court’s recently
The following video tries to summarise what happened during the
meeting in a few minutes.
Some fragments of the talk with Williams Gaillard (Platini’s
assistant) are included. He refers to the new role of European fans,
who are seeking more participation and trying to be heard. In the
past, they were neglected by club managers who treated them just
like consumers. On the other hand, Mr Gaillard addresses the issue
of stadiums infrastructure to end violence in them, and talks about
his experience in Argentina’s stadiums and his fear at the steep
stands of “La Bombonera”, Boca Juniors’ stadium.
SAF congratulates everyone who made this meeting possible on their
work through the years and wants to publicly thank them for the
invitation. Defending fans’ culture is also our cause.
On the otherhand, there wasthe
excellent workof the organizationProfans, "FOR
in whichSAFparticipatedas a
This is aresearch workin ordertomeetthe challenges theyarefootball fansin
Nowadays the “international comparison” includes 33 countries and
SAF in London
The huge differences between Argentina and England
After participating in the Congress known as “Fans’ Weekend” in
England, a meeting of fans of different English football teams (to
begin with, this is a huge difference: the chance for fans of
different teams to meet peacefully and in an organised manner), the
first conclusion we can draw is that the situations of Argentina and
England cannot be compared at all.
As you can see in the video we shot in London (see below), an
English journalist points out that the problems for English fans are
completely different from ours: on the one hand, a hooligan is seen
as a fan who drinks alcohol and fights with the police, but never as
someone who works for politicians and unionists during the week. On
the other hand, the Police and Justice are part of the solution and
not of the problem.
Mónica Nizzardo, president of SAF together with Steven Powell, FSF’s
English fans do not understand how or why the Argentinean police let
violent people into stadiums and turns a blind eye to their
misbehaving, or how different fractions of a club’s fans group can
fight with each other.
In this respect, Dutch specialist Otto Adang, who was invited to
Argentina by the then Security official Pablo Paladino, declared
after visiting some stadiums: “I have nothing to do here because it
is not a security problem but a question of complicity. In
Argentina, there is not political decision whatsoever to solve the
problem and politicians do not want to see it. Thus, the English
model cannot be applied to Argentina.”
(See full article)
What we have been able to notice is that in a country where
institutions work and laws are respected, fans do not dare to do
certain things -such as River Plate fans’ invasion of the field in
Córdoba during the match between their team and Belgrano when
fighting for a place in the first division 2010/11- because they
know they will have to do time for things like that.
“In Argentina, it is evident that the Government does not apply any
kind of controls,” says English journalist Neil Clack. He told us
that associates do not exist in European football clubs and
therefore fans do not participate in the decision-making process of
clubs. That is why fans meet in events like “Fans’ Weekend” to try
and influence club managers on the price of the tickets (which is
currently very high) and other issues.
The recent episodes of violence that put some of our local clubs in
center stage fill us with anger and helplessness, but do not
surprise us. We cannot expect an intervention by the Buenos Aires’
Ministerio de Justicia
either - we have been waiting for the State to take action for a
long time already.
Many regrettable incidents have unfolded since we, Salvemos Al
Fútbol, first asked for a strong political decision by the
national government - an action that needed to be supported by
provincial governments as well. We also demanded the replacement of
the officials responsible for safety in football across all these
provinces, since it’s clear that their efforts in fighting violence
and monitoring police officers have not been effective, to say the
least. We believe this is the right time to reiterate these demands,
now that Argentine football is facing the possibility of a decidedly
Nobody can understate, at this moment in time, the responsibility of
the Argentine Football Association (AFA - Asociación del Fútbol
Argentino) in the rise and consolidation of violence and its
derivatives in the stadiums. The AFA needs to be intervened, and the
Inspección General de Justicia
must enforce the current statutes. That process has to be extended
to all clubs that are affiliated to the association.
These clubs are nonprofit, civil associations, and as such, are
required to comply with the objectives outlined in their respective
statutes. This is their very nature, so the connivance of criminals
and club officials cannot and will not be tolerated any longer.
We demand, ultimately, that the law is enforced in every sense and
in all scales, , and that the Judiciary and the Public Prosecution
office stop neglecting their obligations -as they have done so far-
and start extensive investigations on the matter.
We are aware of Sergio Marchi’s administration as General Secretary
of Futbolistas Argentinos Agremiados (FAA - Argentine footballers’
union) and the work that he has done in collaboration with the
Ministro de Justicia
of Buenos Aires, Ricardo Casal. However, we believe this is,
simultaneously, both an attempt at a solution, and strong evidence
of the inaction that was carried out during preceding years. The
list of dead and injured has steadily grown longer, and it’s only
now that there’s any kind of response.
As a simple conclusion we must point out that we believe the
recommendation given by the FAA to the assaulted athletes
not to file a formal complaint is ridiculous. This only adds another
link to the inaction chain, making things even harder than they
This is a time for acts of greatness and not to try to save face.
Making use of their remarkable political skills, the AFA officials
go near Javier Cantero only to move away from him at the next
opportunity. We are familiar with this system’s hypocrisy. Here
at SAF, we are very alert to the movements of the main players -the
state and the AFA-, and are always willing to renew our historical
commitment to ‘save football’.
Translation: Nicolás Levy Renaud
In English, Department of Justice or
Department of Constitutional Affairs.
The Inspección General de Justicia of the
City of Buenos Aires (“IGJ”) regulates and controls the
companies in the City of Buenos Aires.
The lungs of violence
suffocate Argentinean football (The Blizzard)
Since more than five years,
the one that watches by
television or even more in
situ any official or
friendly match of the
Argentinean football, will
prove with a certain
surprise, or as minimum
incognita, that in every
stadium there is a free zone
in the galleries, without
It is the way in which the
sport, footballistic and
state authorities (be they
national, provincial or
local depending on the
case), found in order to
avoid the growing violence
around the local football,
separating one fans from the
others, calling this zone
“neuter” as “lung”, as if
this kind of “free air” will
put distance among the
adversaries, what means
nothing else but to accept,
in its way, the defeat vs
those who attempt against
the spectacle. A total
this way, the system is not
efficient to solve the
problem of the violence
around the Argentinean
football that is not a minor
subject. The ONG “Salvemos
al Fútbol” (“let`s save the
presided by the directive of
Atlanta (club of National
Contest B of Second Division
in which at present
participate the River Plate),
Mónica Nizzardo (paradoxically
the first who denounced the
organized violence at the
Police, when the majority of
the directives are men)
counts until now 257 dead
due to violent causes in the
As usual, Danish Non-Profit Organisation Play The Game has issued a
magazine with all the selected articles from the last conference in
Cologne, Germany, in which SAF proudly participated. Different
problems in world sports were tackled by specialists with diverse
knowledge are reflected in this issue, which is online and written
Editors say: "The issues raised in this magazine include
mega-events, sporting culture, sports media, corruption and good
governance in international sports organisations, and will hopefully
inspire you while reading. The magazine cannot claim to paint a full
picture of the events in Cologne and the topics addressed in the
articles are only part of the many valuable debates that took place
during the conference.”
“Leading media professionals, academics and sports practitioners
from all over the world worked intensely to raise our knowledge
about sport’s reality and propose solutions for a more ethical and
democratic sport in the future."
Our president’s presentation is on page 24. Mónica Nizzardo was
present in the 2011 conference. The following statement is
“Violence appears because football is losing its essence as a sport.
It has become a business both inside and outside the field.”
The Vision of ‘Salvemos al Fútbol’ Presented in “Play the Game 2011”
Our organization had the privilege to be a part of the seventh
edition of the prestigious conference between the 3rd and 6th of
October in the German Sport University of Cologne, Germany, with the
presence of prestigious references in different areas of sport.
Monica Nizzardo talked about the work of SAF in two separate days.
Play the Game is one of the most prestigious meeting places for
worldwide sports with the participation of journalists, leaders,
athletes and all people related to world sport culture.
In the 2011 conference, SAF participated through the presence of its
president, Mónica Nizzardo. Our representative talked in two panels:
one concerning football y politics and the other dedicated to sport
On Tuesday, October 4, Mónica explained the particular areas of
violence in Argentinean football in her first group lecture.
SAF participated next to another Argentinean, Javier Szlifman,
licensed in communication and author of the blog “Pelota Afuera”
(Out of Bounds). Our countryman gave a brief history of the history
of violence in Argentinean football and its relation with the media.
The other member of the panel was German journalist Ronny Blaschke,
who presented his book “Attack from the Right – Political
Extremists in Football”, a work that describes the link between
football and the right extremists in Germany. Argentinean
journalists Ezequiel Fernández Moores was in charge of the
coordination of the talks.
On Wednesday, October 5, the second panel occurred, as we mentioned,
dealing with the audio-visual production related with sport, also
with the participation of SAF. It presented a part of “Fútbol
Violencia S.A.”, filmed by Pablo Tesoriere, in which Nizzardo was
head of production.
Along with the president of SAF, the panel was filled by producer
Harshad Mistry of England´s BBC, who presented “The Making of
Rwanda 17”; the Danish journalist Niels Christian Jung showed his
documentary “Son of a Football Star,” and Hajo Seppelt and Robert
Kempe (German) presented their work on “Sport in North Korea.” The
panel was led by German journalist Jens Weinreich.
This year the slogan of the conference, with more than 330
participants and 140 speakers, was “Bringing change to the heart of
The most important themes of the conference were the fight against
corruption in sports, the social value of big events, the continued
development of anti-drug politics, and the fight against gender
discrimination, and how to develop sports in poor regions.
Jens Sejer Anderson, international director and responsible
for the conference affirmed: “We are in a very important time for
the future of sports, and strong participation is needed in order to
change the course of sports that are heading towards
auto-destruction. Therefore we are happy that a lot of people who
run the international program have chosen to come to Play the Game,
creating deeper debates in fundamental problems.”
Sport, Modes of Communication and the Situation
As a part of the international delegation chosen by Play the Game,
Salvemos al Futbol also participated in a seminar offered by the
German radio station Deutsachlandfunk (DLF) on October 2nd in
The day was full of interesting presentations and seminars with
some of the most recognized specialists about German sport and
modes of communication.
In the photo Monica Nizzardo is next to two Argentineans, Ezequiel
Fernández Moores y Javier Szlifman.
The intense sessions of lectures and debates were seen nuanced
by moments of rich cultural exchange. Moments that only got
better the following days during the conference of Play the
From 26 toOctober 1, the president of
“Salvemos al Futbol”,invited bymembersof the Federation
and Wales, visited London.
"It was awonderfuland enrichingexperience," said
On WednesdaySeptember 28, in the morning, shewas invited toSKYSPORTS
In the afternoon,
she along withEmiliano,
a fanatical Arsenal fan, made
a tour of theold
The club movedto the new stadiumin
July 2006after spending93 yearsat Highbury.
The old stadiumhas not disappeared
completely.It has becomea housing complex.They
apartment towersrespecting thestructure and locationof
“The biggest fans have not hesitated to do whatever we can to be the
owners of one of these flats. It wasn't easy, but some of us have
managed to do it”.
Also theentrance hallalsoretainsthe counter,the bust ofChapman,DTArsenalmanaged tobecome theworld's most famousclub.
Thespace of the oldfield isnowa beautiful park ontheproperty.
Monica went to thenewArsenalStadium:
JoeandDavidMulcahy, fans of Arsenal.
Themascot withthe colors of
The matchwasArsenal- Olympiakos, for the
Aftersporting event, comments on
a pubnear the stadium.There,Monicadiscoveredthe
the nightlife offootball
manyhours of his lifeto the collection of
historical material fromArsenal.The following isan
excerpt from along talk aboutthe issue.
I want to give special thanks to StevePowell, Eda and JoeMulcahy. Igreatlyappreciatethe kindness
me. Itgives me greatstrength to continuein
this greatstruggle of"Let’s save Football" says, Monica
From the slums of Buenos
Aires, there's only one escape – football. To play like Maradona or
Tevez is the ultimate dream, but off the pitch there's another
option: joining one of the violent gangs who control the sport. An
extraordinary report of life among the world's most dangerous fans.
University, Cologne, Germany
3-6 October 2011
For the seventh time
Play the Game will gather stakeholders in sport to join the
discussion on essential issues in world sport at the world
communication conference Play the Game 2011 - bringing change to
the heart of sport.
Play the Game 2011 is
organised in cooperation with the German Sport University in Cologne,
information such as prices, accomodation and dates for registration
and submissions as well as information about conference topics,
programme and speakers will be published on this page as soon as the
information is available. So stay tuned.
The Football Supporters Federation (FSF) is doing a questionnaire
for the World Cup edition of its magazine The Football Supporter
(tfs). We'd like to get the views of fans in the Americas.
Please complete the attached questionnaire and return them to:
La federación de hinchas de futbol de Inglaterra y Gales hace una
encuesta sobre el mundial. Los resultados seran publicados en la
edicion especial para el mundial de su revista The Football
Supporter(tfs). Querriamos saber el punto de vista de
las hinchas de las Americas. Por favor, lllenen la encuesta
adjuntada y devuelvanlas a:
Your replies can be in English, French, Portguese or Spanish. Please
include your name and the club and national team you support. Please
forward this message to all your football supporting friends and
Thanks very much!
Sus respuestas pueden ser escritas en ingles, francés, portugués o
castellano. Incluyan su nombre, apellido y el club y selección
nacional quien ustedes siguen, por favor. También, pasen este mail a
todos sus amigos y contactos quienes sean hinchas de futbol, por
It is a pleasure to inform you that this month Salvemos al Fútbol
has its third anniversary and we have taken yet another step in the
development of our organization.
In situations like ours there are no
single achievements can exist with the efforts of just one person.
Teamwork is crucial and for that, once again, we would like to take
this opportunity to recognize and thank everyone who has helped in
Appealing to your goodwill, we would
like to acknowledge that we have opened a bank account, so if you
wish to express your desire to help, you can now do so in the form
of a donation.
Salvemos al Fútbol started
as a non-profit organization and will continue as such. However, it
we cannot escape the fact that with every activity which we
undertake more and more resources are needed. This organization
lacks the financial support it needs, in order for it not to be
solely supported by those who direct it. With that in mind, we
invite you to make any donation that you can.
We are happy to help with any
questions or concerns that you might have.
Account type: (Cuenta corriente especial en pesos)
Nº 0120858583 In the name of Salvemos al Futbol Asociación
Civil (C.B.U 01100129/40001208585830 ) ( located at the
corresponding bank branch of the Bank of the Nation of Argentina.
(correspondiente a la
Sucursal 050 -Congreso del Banco de la Nación Argentina.)
Once you have made a deposit,
please contact us at
firstname.lastname@example.org with the
date and number of the transaction so that we can put it on record.
The information that you send us
allows us to register your support and to send you the corresponding
If you would like to make the
donation in person, you can come to our offices by calling
011-4953-4606 to make an appointment.