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Even though most Americans are loathe admitting it – soccer is the most popular sport in the world, consistently breaking attendance records all over the globe. One of the other things that soccer has over other spectator sports is fan intensity. Sure, Lakers fans and Celtics fans despise each other, but rival soccer fans actually want to hurt each other. At least, that’s how it would seem. In the world of football (the other word for ‘soccer’) it’s anyone’s guess how a game is going to end – are we going home or are we brawling?
Some Brazilian and Argentinean football fans took the initiative to really get rival fans going and they did so in an inflatable fashion. According to news.com.au:
“THAT fans got it past security said a lot about South American soccer but an inflatable pig has reignited one of football’s oldest rivalries. At halftime River fans released a huge inflatable pig dressed in Boca colours and floated it provocatively in front of the away fans. The start of the second half was delayed until the offending helium-filled pig was deflated.”
The event where the pig was unveiled – El Superclasico – has been a long time coming for the two teams, the article says. River Plate and Boca Juniors hadn’t played in one for almost a year and a half. The rivalry, combined with the stakes and the inflatable pig, caused a big ruckus ending with a clash between fans and security guards. The scene was certainly a concern, considering a tragedy that occurred decades ago between the rivals:
“Boca-River games are traditionally passionate but tragedy struck the fixture after a dour 0-0 draw in 1968, when 90,000 people poured into the Monumental and 71 fans were crushed to death in the worst tragedy to hit Argentinian football.”
Luckily, the pig didn’t cause this kind of clash, but you can be sure that Boca fans weren’t very happy!