LA UTILIZACIÓN DEL FÚTBOL EN LA ÚLTIMA DICTADURA

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El 24 de marzo no puede ni debe ser una fecha cualquiera para un argentino. En esa fecha pero de 1976 se llevó a cabo el «Proceso de Reorganización Nacional», tal como se lo denominó en su momento. Fue un gobierno dictatorial, que culminó seis años después, tras perder una guerra con Inglaterra y haber hecho desaparecer cerca de 30 mil personas, torturando a muchas más.

Por eso, el Mundial de 1978 no fue uno más. Fue la cita perfecta para tapar lo que sucedía en las calles. Y no sucedía muy lejos del estadio de River Plate, sede de la final ante Holanda. La Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada (ESMA) fue el principal centro clandestino de la dictadura, que funcionaba apenas a 1300 metros del Monumental.

João Havelange hizo poco para que Argentina no sea sede de ese Mundial. Y motivos sobraban: ya se llevaban dos años de dictadura, las protestas de las madres de plaza de mayo eran evidentes, el mundo hablaba de la violencia en las calles. Pero todo eso poco le importó al ex presidente de la FIFA, que al ver que las obras avanzaban a gran velocidad dio el visto bueno para la realización. 

El gobierno de facto tuvo tres metas en su cabeza para poder lograr el objetivo principal: perpetuarse en el poder. Uno fue la realización del Mundial y, lógicamente, ganarlo. Los otros dos fueron muy claros: uno se pudo llevar a cabo y el otro no. El que se hizo fue la guerra con Inglaterra por las Islas Malvinas y el que no se pudo fue la guerra con Chile por el Beagle, gracias a la rápida mediación del Vaticano.

Pero el objetivo que vamos a repasar hoy es el primero, el que se llevó a cabo a la perfección y el que más éxito tuvo. Mirando un poco alrededor, toda Sudamérica estaba envuelta en crisis: Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brasil y Uruguay son apenas ejemplos de los procesos dictatoriales. La mayoría sangrientos. En el caso de Argentina, el más sangriento de su historia.

Para la lista de convocables, César Luis Menotti no pudo armar la nómina que él deseaba: no le dejaron convocar a ningún jugador de Boca Juniors, campeón de la Libertadores e Intercontinental ’77, y para colmo, Carlos Lacoste ordenó convocar a la figura de River, Norberto Alonso. Así las cosas, al Flaco no le quedó otra más que prescindir de un joven y talentoso jugador de Argentinos Juniors: Diego Armando Maradona.

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Johann Cruyff, estrella holandesa, no participó del Mundial. Las versiones abundan, aunque la más fuerte es que se negó a viajar por estar en contra de la dictadura. Muchos años después aclaró que en 1977 fue víctima de un secuestro junto con su familia y eso lo dejó mal psicológicamente a tal punto de cambiar su visión de vida.

Michel Platini jugó su primera Copa del Mundo (además participó en 1982 y 1986), y este año declaró que «el Mundial más difícil que jugué fue el de Argentina, no sabía qué declarar a la prensa, fue políticamente difícil». Y aseguró que en su país «estaban en contra de que viajemos».

El día de la ceremonia inaugural, Ronnie Hellstrom (arquero de Suecia), protestó en la Pirámide de Mayo, caminando alrededor, frente a la Casa Rosada, al igual que las Madres de Plaza de Mayo.

Pasando a lo futbolístico, Argentina salió segunda en el Grupo I: le ganó a Hungría 2-1 y a Francia 2-1, habiendo perdido con Italia 1-0. La segunda fase la jugó en Rosario, venció a Polonia 2-0 y a Perú 6-0, además de empatar con Brasil 0-0. En la final superó a Holanda 3-1 en el tiempo suplementario.

Para televisar el campeonato a todo el mundo, se creó Argentina Televisora Color (ATC), con seis estudios en una superficie cubierta de casi tres hectáreas. Se gastaron 60 millones de dólares, pero los argentinos vieron el Mundial en blanco y negro. El ex presidente de la FIFA Havelange calificó con «10» a la organización del torneo. Se construyeron tres estadios especialmente, en las subsedes de Mar del Plata, Córdoba y Mendoza.

mundial787878El 6-0 a Perú en la segunda fase es uno de los mayores partidos en la historia del fútbol donde abundan documentos sobre corrupción. Desde arreglos monetarios hasta préstamos de 50 millones de dólares y donativos de cereal desde Argentina hacia Perú, donde también ejercía el gobierno una dictadura militar. Lo último se comprobó, pero según el gobierno de facto argentino fue en un marco de «solidaridad entre naciones».

Luego de la final, la alegría se adueñó de la gente. Los lugares donde antes se reclamaba fueron ocupados por personas que expresaban la mayor de las euforias. Pero como es previsible, todo tiene su fin. Y la euforia no fue la excepción. Luego del festejo todo volvió a ser como antes. O mejor dicho, como siempre. Porque ni siquiera durante el Mundial hubo paz. Hace poco una mujer sobreviviente de la ESMA contó que cuando escuchó a un torturador entrar al grito de «¡ganamos!» ella no contuvo las lágrimas y anunció: «perdimos».

Una vez más, el fútbol fue cómplice de lo terrible. El Mundial fue una fiesta para muchos, pero no para todos. Desde el 10 de diciembre de 1983 la Argentina vive en democracia absoluta y, hasta ahora, es el proceso más largo de democracia en el país. Habrá que cuidarlo, respetando diferencias y posturas políticas. Para escribir el futuro hay que mirar el pasado, y por eso hoy se celebra el Día de la Memoria por la Verdad y la Justicia. Nunca más.

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Estudiante de periodismo. Maradoniano y Riquelmista. "Hasta la victoria siempre". "El periodismo es el mejor oficio del mundo".

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