The Berlin Wall of Boca


The opposing team’s fans at the soccer game we attended on Sunday (Boca vs. Gimnasio) were relegated to two sections on one side of the stadium behind a goal at the very top tier of seating. Hardly a premium location. But, it was packed, and while they were a small group, yowza, they really generated some noise.

We were sitting below them and to the left, and had a great view of what we called “The Berlin Wall,” which marked the separation between the home fans and the visiting fans with iron bars, plexiglass, rolled barbed wire, and multiple policemen.

As you can see in this photo, the game was not a sell out, but still, there was no one rooting for Boca that you could spot anywhere near the Gimnasio fans.

At the end of the game, we foreigners on the various soccer tours had to wait for 20 minutes or so while the stadium was emptied in sections — the opposing team’s group leaving first.

When it was our turn to depart, they whisked us out of the stadium and to our van, parked maybe 40 yards away. We weren’t home free though! Once we had wended our way through the fan-filled tiny streets of Boca onto the freeway, we had a final “intense soccer fan” moment.

Our transport merged onto the autopista behind some beaten down colectivo buses that were being followed by an official police van that had its lights blazing and was stuffed to the gills with officers outfitted in full riot gear. ALL of the policemen were glaring daggers at our van, and we couldn’t figure out why. Finally, as we went to pass the bus/police caravan, our driver had an epiphany about the lawmen’s stink eye — the buses were filled with partying Gimnasio fans (literally hanging out of windows and doors) and we were about to drive by in a van labeled “BOCA EXPERIENCE” with a bunch of clueless foreigners.

Our conductor lunged and tore the sign from the windshield/dash just as we pulled within visual range of partying Gimnasio passengers. Whew.

A far cry from the mellow west coast American fandom to which I’ve grown accustomed.

3 Responses to “The Berlin Wall of Boca”

  1. Buenos Aires Expats - Online Community of Expatriates and guide to living in Buenos Aires, Argentina

    […] highways and will be self-sufficient in terms of water and energy… Wednesday, 25 November The Berlin Wall of Boca[] The opposing team’s fans at the soccer game we attended on Sunday ( Boca […]

  2. Matt

    I was at an Argentinos Juniors game a couple of weeks ago, and ended up sitting on the terraces next to a cute seven-year-old. He spent most of the game sucking philosophically on a lollipop, removing it only once in order to scream, “Grow some balls, motherf****r!” His father looked at me and shrugged as if to say, “He’s *so* precocious.”

  3. Michele

    *laugh* Sadly, Zoe seems very eager to join the ranks of the pint-sized potty mouths. All for the love of sport.

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