BARRACAS CENTRAL – TRISTIAN SUAREZ (0:0)
STADIUM: ESTADIO CLAUDIO “CHIQUI” TAPIA
Tuesday 26th April 2016
Barracas Central? Where? Barracas rhymes with Crackers and I tell you…some people may think I was crackers going to a small stadium in the middle of nowhere like this one.
My handy mapping system, thanks again Google, showed me that the stadium was “not far” or so I thought from Huracan’s ground. As luck would have it an extra game at night was added to my list as Huracan were playing Ahletico Nacional of Columbia. A chance to buy a ticket then “round the corner” to the affectionately named Estadio Claudio “Chiqui” Tapia, in honour of the current club President.
What looked like a 20 minute walk from the train station turned out to be almost an hour and 30 minutes, through a building site, past a train station? (yes I was too late!) then eventually the drum beat signalled i was near, albeit tired and slightly weary. It was a small stadium with another heavy police presence, not a big crowd and unsurprisingly not much goalmouth action. The standard of Argentine football was well below what I was expecting with more despair than South American flair.
The stadium was another old style concrete mass with terracing on all 3 sides and a small main tribune with seats under which, contained the clubhouse and toilets.
The stadium was next to another Villa (pronounced Visha) which is the Argentine word for slum. This was similar to slums i had seen from the train en route to Caseros and the one next to San Lorenzo’s ground. It looked as if the Barra Brava had their own entrance which backed right into this area. It did not look pretty and i kept well away. The game finished 0-0 again, a sight that i was getting used to!
What puzzled me at full time was why the home fans were kept locked inside for 20 minutes after the final whistle. There were no away fans evident, the only explanation i thought of was maybe the police were making sure that the Barra Brave got out and away first in case of any flashpoints. They did look a rowdy and unsavoury bunch and so might i if i was forced to watching that standard of football each week!
Luckily it was only a short walk “round the corner” to my next stop and final game of my trip.