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Atlanta in First Place, Racing Fighting for Libertadores Cup Slot

As far as success on the pitch is concerned, the world of futbol has treated neither Atlanta nor Racing particularly well over the last few decades. And while I still am a firm believer in that sporting success is only secondary, certain achievements are much longed for, not only for the great party and celebration that their acquisition would entail, but also because they have the potential to produce real and tangible changes in ones life as a follower of the club in question.

In the case of Atlanta, as the graphic above shows, the reason is clear: Atlanta is in first place in third division, and has been now for about a month. Over the last few games, a gap of 4 points to the second placed team and 6 points to third has developed. We are almost halfway through the season, and should this miracle hold until late May or early June, it will mean the end of an over one decade long nightmare odyssey through the „Primera B“ metropolitana, back to second division, and most likely finally enable a new round of the derby against Chacarita. All thats missing…that away fans can return to the stadiums. Im so excited I can barely breathe. The“popular“ the most recent game:

Just as exciting, Atlanta is once again growing as a club…several years ago we recovered our social center from the city (lost in a bankrupty in the 90s), the stadium was transformed from wooden terraces to cement and re-opened last year, and now work has begun on adding a grill area and solarium (!!! Whatever….) to the club grounds:

In the case of Racing, a shockingly pleasant situation…namely that with 3 matches remaining in the season Racing is currently placed 6th in the season points ranking, putting us 1 point away from 5th place and a spot for Copa Libertadores 2011 (South American version of the Champions League), has been turned into a rather unpleasant one by the incompetence and corruption of South American futbol in general, Argentine in particular.


A nice image from the most recent away game, in Banfield, which Racing won 2-1

Last week (yes, 7 days ago, only 4 games before the end of the season) the CONMEBOL (South American Futbol Confederation) decided that the winner of the „Supercopa“ (equivalent to the UEFA cup), who qualifies automatically for the Copa Libertadores of the following season, would not be added as an extra spot for the country of the team who wins it…but rather would take the last spot of the country. In other words: If an Argentine team wins the Supercopa, the 5th Libertadores spot is taken by that team and not whoever is 5th on points. Changing the rules of a sporting event once its already begun (almost ended!), you cant get much more banana republic like than that!

Bad enough, because the Supercopa final first leg is this week, and an Argentine team is in it. Not any Argentine team…its of course the scum of Independiente! Of course, they have arrived this far with an offside goal (about 2 meters offside!), they hit the goalie of the visiting team with a rock during a game splitting his head open (and the game was still not suspended), they play all the return legs at home, and the final will be against Goias, who will be playing next season in the Brazilian second division! Life is good when your biggest fan is the president/dictator of the Argentine Futbol Federation and you can even make your own rules as you go!

The silver lining…about 160 Independiente fans were scammed out of 800 USD each, with tickets for a charter flight to Brazil which never took off! I dislike them severely, and yet still feel kind of sorry for them….

Whatever, a video of Racings latest glorious victory…




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