Opinion: “Barras bravas” Ultras in Colombia, an unbridled love

Colombian soccer is going through one of its most critical moments with the ultras. We tell you about the tense reality that is currently lived with these so-called fans .

National Athletic Bar

Photo: Latin American Post

LatinAmerican Post | Daniel González Guerrero

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Leer en español: Opinión: Barras bravas en Colombia, un amor desenfrenado

The issue of ultras (barras bravas in spanish) in Colombia is one of those that has most concerned Colombian professional soccer managers for several years. The power inside the stadiums, the violence between fans, the senseless sanctions, the bad decisions of the leaders and the constant lack of interest in eradicating this problem are some of the nuances that most enhance this aspect that today has the BetPlay League in check. 

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What happened last weekend with the barra brava Los del Sur of Atlético Nacional is a new call to attention to all the leaders of Colombian soccer, who seem to have ignored this problem. This is why, over the years, all the excesses within the sports venues in the country have been normalized.

A Love Overcome by Money

The excesses that occurred over the weekend in the city of Medellín are due to the determination of the Atlético Nacional board of directors to cut ties with the club's most important ultras. Through a statement, the institution commented on all the benefits that these fans would no longer have, an aspect that generated a revolt against the team.

Knowing the amount of money that the fans belonging to this bar constantly received and the aid that the club gave them, the debate on the management that has been given to this issue in Colombian soccer was opened again. In this, the managers prefer to give these fans total power so as not to have difficulties inside the stadiums.

A Time Bomb

To what happened over the weekend in Medellín, we must add what happened to soccer player Daniel Cataño, a Millonarios soccer player who was physically attacked by a Deportes Tolima fan who got past the stadium security to enter the pitch. Also, it is necessary to highlight the constant disputes between fans, which take the streets of the country as their battlefield day after day.

With all these examples, it is confirmed that the issue of ultras in Colombia is affected by the normal development of this competition, since the excesses and fights between fans became the daily bread in the BetPlay League. It is for this reason that the fans who see soccer as a spectacle are crying out for forceful change, in order to eradicate violence in sport and eradicate once and for all these thugs who disguise themselves as fans.

Changes in Soccer

One of the possible solutions to this great problem is the identification of all fans. For several years, there has been the initiative of having the records of the fans that enter the different stadiums of the country, in order to quickly know who are the people who commit vandalism within the sports venues.

Despite this idea, Dimayor, commanded at that time by Jorge Perdomo, left this new measure halfway, so it is currently unknown where all the money invested to make this initiative a reality ended up. Given this and with the arrival of Fernando Jaramillo to the presidency of the Dimayor, it is expected that the construction of this new measure will be resumed quickly.

The Arrival of Technology

Another idea that could be implemented in Colombian soccer would be to rely more on technology, which would be complemented by the aspect of identification. Wrapping up the fan searches aspect, biometric cameras could be used inside sports venues. With the help of these cameras, it would be easier to identify the people involved in all the excesses that occur inside the stadiums.

Exemplary Sanctions

The two ideas mentioned above are linked to the work of the National Police and the leaders of Colombian soccer. With the easy recognition of the people involved in the excesses, new sanctions could be created against these fans, which could include prohibiting them from entering sports venues and financial fines.

Soccer in Peace

Finally, another initiative that could be generated is the alliance of all the teams belonging to Colombian soccer, in order to eradicate and remove from the playing fields all these people who attempt against the sporting spectacle. By having the same objective, all managers could work hand in hand to provide the security and well-being necessary for the realization of the competition matches.

For now, this inconvenience with the ultras does not seem to have a near end in Colombia, since with the passing of the months it is confirmed that the politicians, leaders, players, and fans have their own interests. Given this, it does not seem that there is an intention to solve this social problem, which distanced families from sports venues, an aspect that financially hits all Colombian teams.

As a consequence of this, we are currently experiencing one of the most violent stages of Colombian soccer in recent years. The situation could end in a real tragedy for the entire national sport if the necessary measures are not taken. Despite this dark outlook, we still have enough time to keep the violent out of the stadiums and make way for families who want to enjoy a sporting event every weekend.

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