The final of the Copa Libertadores, the most important club tournament in Latin America at the soccer level, was played last Saturday between Boca Juniors (Argentina) and Fluminense (Brazil). Despite the price of the tickets and the delicate economic situation in Argentina, tens of thousands of fans made an effort and bought tickets to see live one of the most important matches of the Argentine team in recent years. However, some had to watch the game on television.
It is estimated that this was the case that about 1,000 fans experienced, among them Tobías Giménez with his family. The young man spoke exclusively with Voz Media and recounted what he experienced on Saturday, November 4, when he expected to see his team on the field and ended up not seeing them due to the Brazilian police.
His story began three weeks before the game, still with the joy that Boca had reached the tournament finale that has eluded him since 2007. Despite the economic difficulties that Argentina is going through, his family decided to attend and managed to buy tickets for the match (of course, official tickets). Seven of them would travel to Rio de Janeiro to sit in the audience and pray that the team led by Jorge Almirón (who resigned on Sunday night) would be crowned in Brazil.
24 Horas do gol que tornou o Nosso Sonho uma realidade. 🐻 pic.twitter.com/TnLhX8LnqX
— Fluminense F.C. (@FluminenseFC) November 5, 2023
Already on Brazilian soil, they arrived at the stadium three and a half hours early to avoid the famous last-minute crowds. They began to line up, still with a smile on their faces, until they realized that it was mysteriously not moving. "People are starting to accumulate. Comments began from people who didn't know what was happening. We were not moving, we had no answers," said the young man.
"Two hours later, it began to move, but there were already many people, including women, older people and children. At one point, we were separated from the family due to the movement. To stop the avalanche of people, the police threw pepper spray on us. I'm not telling you that I couldn't breathe, but I was a little short of breath. Quite a desperate situation," he continued.
In the crowd of people, Tobías was left alone with his cousin, with whom he was able to rejoin in a sort of line that was reassembled. Even his sister started crying because she thought security had hurt them. Although it seemed that things could not get worse, the worst was yet to come. Fifteen minutes before the start of the game, reports began to circulate that the doors had been closed, something that those who were further ahead were able to confirm. The reason? "We think it was oversold or that people who didn't have a ticket entered," Tobías said.
With that information, Tobías turned around and met with his family to leave the stadium without being able to enter despite having legally purchased the tickets. They watched the first half of the game on public transportation and arrived at their hotel to see how the match ended with Fluminense winning by two goals to one.
"We didn't have any response. What I feel is indignation, helplessness. In Argentina, we are going to try to contact Boca because it seems easier to us than trying to talk to Conmebol. But nothing is known," Giménez concluded.