Inside the Bogotá Clásico | Part 3: The Violence
The third installment in our special on 'el clásico capitalino' features the biggest problem marring the resurgence of Colombian soccer. Supporter violence. Certainly not an issue exclusive to Colombia, soccer fan violence highlights a crippling issue in most Latin American countries.
Organized supporter groups called 'barras bravas' are often the culprits of stadium riots, violent clashes between rival supporters and worse, fights amongst supporters of the SAME team. Too many innocent deaths, supporter bans, and matches played in empty stadiums have taken place in recent years due to hooliganism in Latin America, and Colombia specifically. After speaking to fans, media, and club officials of Millonarios and Santa Fe, we find the magnitude of the problem is not totally agreed upon.
While they all say it's a rotten few who spoil the reputation of supporter culture in Colombia, is supporter violence fútbol's problem, or the manifestation of deeper social issues? And where should the onus lie? On the clubs or the government? It's more complex than you think...