Alejandro Mota, a systems engineer and fan of América de Cali, is constantly asked by his six-year-old son if his attackers are already in jail. He does it when he feels a deep anguish to see his father wounded by him after attending a game of his team against Junior de Barranquilla at the Metropolitano. inexplicably, because it was with a Sunday look and without any distinctive of his team, supposed fans of the shark club deduced that it belonged to the rival and, as if they were at war, they beat him and injured him with a knife.
The events occurred on February 20, but he is still incapacitated, since the blows left him with an injury to his right eye and his vision is compromised. He is hopeful that laser surgery on both eyes will help prevent retinal detachment.
While waiting in the capital of the Atlantic for his health to improve, in the village of San Cristóbal de Medellín, Jeison Yepes waits for justice and possible compensation. The 27-year-old knows perfectly well what it is to “wait for death sitting down” because he received 38 machetes. It all happened on March 23, 2019, when he decided to travel to General Santander, in Cúcuta, to see a game of his beloved Nacional. Yepes and some friends undertook the road trip when in Barrancabermeja (Santander) they were surprised by “fans” of Bucaramanga.
As in a pitched battle, they were greeted with sticks and stones, the Nacional fans went running and Yepes was unlucky enough to fall to the ground. Not more than 20 seconds passed when he already had ten people around him who, with machetes, cut his face, arms and knees. “I saw red and was full of blood, meanwhile I heard how they celebrated what they did to me”, says the young man. He lasted more than 12 hours lying on the floor and with serious injuries to his body. The pain caused him to faint because practically his limbs were amputated by those who claim to be fans of a soccer team.
An inhabitant of the region found him lying down and took him to the clinic. The young man, who is studying business administration, has reduced mobility due to the consequences of his injuries, he has had eight reconstructive surgeries and others are pending.
Violence in football has a large number of unfortunate stories. Johan Valderrama and his wife decided to travel from Armenia to Atanasio Girardot, in Medellín. A family plan that included stopping wherever they wanted to eat well, a break in the capital of Antioquia and watch soccer in peace. They bought tickets for occidental, a supposedly safe tribune, but from one moment to another they witnessed how the members of the so-called brave bars acted as authorities and asked for the ID of those who did not have Medellín shirts. The objective was to identify those who were not fans of that team to remove them from the stadium. That day the intolerance was such that the former DIM players themselves were attacked.
Also to the maximum sports scene of the Antioquians, but three Caleños arrived at a National match, among them a communicator. At the transport terminal, 7 followers of the green paisa approached them. One was hit with a helmet and two blows to the head with machetes that reached the skull and is currently undergoing medical tests to determine whether or not he touched the brain. The other had to jump from a second floor so that they would not kill him. and they stole her camera and intimidated her all the time with sharp weapons looking for clothes from Deportivo Cali.
Nicolás García and Juan Restrepo, fans of América and Once Caldas respectively, have similar stories because they had to flee to save their lives. The first, according to what he says, the police betrayed him by saying out loud that he was a fan of the scarlet team, despite not having a shirt. A good jog to avoid a beating and 50,000 pesos to a uniformed man to quickly enter the stadium through another door saved his life. The second he had to hide in a bakery to prevent the attacks with a knife from affecting his face.
In the minds of soccer fans, the memory of what happened in August 2021 in the Santa Fe vs. National. In addition to the invasion of the stadium, there was cruelty from some people wearing Nacional shirts who brutally beat a León fan until he was unconscious in the stands. Hours later, the person suffered a head injury due to the number of blows he received.
Although what happened in Querétaro (Mexico) has opened the debate on violence in soccer due to the pitched battle that left 30 injured, 20 missing, 17 detained and an equal number of dead; In Colombia, the same phenomenon has been occurring on each date, but the deaths occur in several cities and, perhaps, that is why the situation has not been scrutinized.
While in that Mexican city the team was punished with games behind closed doors, a three-year ban on the bars, an economic fine of 70,000 dollars, a five-year disability for managers and captures with immediate judicial processes; In Colombia, when something similar happens, the stands are simply closed, the cement is punished and the violent continue to tour the stadiums.
La Dimayor has made countless announcements to end violence in football; in 2017, he presented an enrollment plan with the aim that all attendees were identified, but it failed. Although 243,466 people paid for their card, the document was never delivered.
If the soccer directives do not take urgent measures, violence will take over the sports arenas and the true fans will move away from the fields to protect their lives.