The Fall of River

Exposing the corruption behind an Argentine soccer team's downfall. 

April 29, 2015

Featured podcasts from Radio Ambulante with analysis from the NACLA archives.

River Plate's flag (Julieta Mancuso Villar, via Wikimedia Commons)

In 2011, the iconic Argentine soccer team River Plate was downgraded to the B division, an unthinkable crisis for a team that had enjoyed over 100 years in the spotlight. In Radio Ambulante’s “The Fall of River”, Cristian Alarcón interviews sports commentator Atilio Costa Febre, who was tasked with broadcasting the catastrophe and decided to sidestep convention and denounce on air the managerial corruption that led to River’s fall.

Febre’s announcement was no solitary act of passion for a soccer club. In Argentina, soccer is a traditional vehicle for national identity and politics. Atilio was channeling a sentimiento for soccer that, as journalist Teo Balivé explains, cuts across class and ideological differences. In fact, politician and soccer club owner Mauricio Macri harnessed this same passion to win the mayoral election of Buenos Aires in 2007.

If you are interested in more Argentine journalism that breaks the mold you may want to read this article on piquetero television

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