Bungs and backhanders....

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

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I couldn't turn down the opportunity of seeing the great Boca Juniors play whilst I was in BA.  When we were in La Boca during the day we asked about getting tickets for the match against San Martin, which was on the Sunday evening.  No chance we were told, tourists cannot buy tickets....it basically works like this - Boca Juniors is a club of members and all members get two tickets entitlement to each match.  They have 17,000 members and the stadium holds 35,000 - you do the maths, there ain't going to be many going spare to the public!!

So our only option was to buy them through the hostel.  The hostel basically has a few member contacts, but by doing it that way we have to buy a 'package', which essentially covers:

(a) transport to the game

(b) protection/security

(c) a guide

(d) ticket

(e) unknown amount of bungs/backhanders to various locals/members

we had to pay A$200 each ticket (£40) when the cover price is A$30.

'La Doce', getting in the swing of things!
...a bit of a mark up!!

But the experience itself is fantastic - we saw Boca beat San Martin 3-0 with two goals from the legendary Martin Palermo - 203 goals in 325 games, what a record! He is the Alan Shearer of Argentinian football!  The crowd were awesome - they call the hardcore fans 'La doce' (or 'Jugador numero 12', 'the 12th man') - they were unbelivable - they sang the ENTIRE match no stop and were jumping up and down and letting of firecrackers etc - absolutely mental! We were in with the prawn sandwich brigade, which was a bit more sedate.

The only annoying part of the night - trying to get out - they locked our whole section in for an hour after the game - even the groundsmen had packed up and gone home by then.  No apparent reason, but it almost caused a bloody riot with the locals who were calling the Policia less than complementary names.  Add to that the fact we had to walk down the stairwell that the away fans had just exited from - and in traditional fashion here - pissed in - and we were glad to be back at the hostel, a good 5 hours after we left - nice!!

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La Doce, getting in the swing of…
'La Doce', getting in the swing o…