Buenos Aires Times

sports The politics of football

Marcelo Tinelli latest to question Boca's influence

The San Lorenzo vice-president's comments come after a weekend filled with renewed suspicion around the Xeneize's oversized heft within Argentine football.

Wednesday 21 February, 2018
Marcelo Tinelli, vice-president of San Lorenzo and well-known sports television host.
Marcelo Tinelli, vice-president of San Lorenzo and well-known sports television host. Foto:Noticias Argentinas

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San Lorenzo vice-president and well-known television presenter Marcelo Tinelli has added his voice to the debate dominating the nation's sporting pages, saying he thought Boca Juniors had too much influence over Argentine football.

"When it comes to football, I have the feeling I had when I was trying to become AFA president, and they chose [current AFA chief Claudio Tapia] instead," he told Radio Mitre during the programme Lanata Sin Filtros. "I don't think Macri has to call anyone, or that the president of AFA has to call a referee. It seems to me that Boca has so much power within AFA that the referees have been conditioned."

His comments come after a weekend in which referees, intentionally or unintentionally, appeared to favour Boca and punish their rivals River Plate, and Xeneize head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto met with President Mauricio Macri at the Casa Rosada.

"This is why it's important to ensure procedures are transparent so that there's no gap in information that could generate suspicions," Tinelli wrote on Twitter. "I say this with the greatest desire for things to work properly."

The incidents have given rise to comments from several in the world of Argentine football suggesting connections that range from outright conspiracy to inadvertent favouritism. Many have referenced Macri's previous spell as president of Boca Juniors and that AFA President Claudio Tapia is also an hincha of the same club.

"We all know about Macri's fanaticism for Boca. After what happened with River [against Godoy Cruz on Sunday], and the criticisms River had, with the fans singing, he invited Schelotto to the Casa Rosada," Tinelli said. "This seems weird to me. I would think the meeting was already planned. These days the power in Argentine football is controlled almost completely by Boca."

PERFIL's Alejandro Fabbri discusses the connections between football and political power in Argentina at length in a piece published on Tuesday.

-TIMES/PERFIL

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