The incidents that made it necessary to suspend the start of the match between Sports Tolima and millionaires, On February 12, they revived the controversy over the management of the fans in Colombian soccer.

A fan, identified as Alejandro Montenegro, 21, hit Millonarios player Daniel Cataño from behind, who responded to the attack. Cataño’s teammates made the decision not to play and the game could not be played due to lack of guarantees. This Wednesday, Dimayor rescheduled it for March 29.

In the midst of this scenario, the Government Secretariat of Bogota It has been doing, since last year, a pilot plan for the return of the popular bars to the El Campín stadium. The north stand had become a space for families, but now it is surely the opening of that space for baristas.

“I myself denounced them at the Prosecutor’s Office and prohibited the entry of Cali or Nacional fans. Yes, we have revived the ‘Goles en paz’ ​​program and we will not allow it to become a center of extortion in exchange for jobs”, said, in October of last year, the Secretary of the Government of Bogotá, Felipe Jiménez, who at the time He was also a Santafe barista.

The scope of the decision of the Secretary of Government

Now, the entity that the Blue Commandos will once again occupy the north curve of the El Campín stadium and that the visiting bars will also be allowed to return to the main stage of the capital.

Jiménez, in an interview with EL TIEMPO, referred to the decision, which has already been notified to the clubs, especially Millonarios, which has two barra bravas, Comandos Azules and Blue Rain, and which should now once again be in separate stands , north for the first and south for the second.

Felipe Jiménez, Secretary of the Government of Bogotá.

Photo:

Government Secretariat of Bogota

Is it true that the visiting bars were located in the eastern stand?

We have not approved the entry of visiting bars in Oriental. There was a football commission and what the protocol states was produced: the side stands are for popular bars. The side grandstand meets all safety conditions. This determination comes from last year. In fact, it is approved and supported by the Police and the other entities that are present in the commission.

Will visiting barras bravas be allowed to enter the south and north?

For our government there are no rival fans: we can have spaces in the stadiums, regardless of the shirt we wear. This year, as it has been done in many years, the south and north side stands are the ones that, having the best infrastructure and best security conditions, will house the popular bars of Bogota teams and visiting teams. Each match has its different complexity and specific risk and it is in the Football Commission where all the respective accommodation and logistics characteristics are defined. In some cases, the same teams prefer not to approve visiting fans; in others, there are bars sanctioned at the national or local level. Each party has its own logistics.

You say that «For our government there are no rival fans.» Is that realistic? What has even been done all over the world is to get rid of the barras bravas.

One thing is rivals understood as enemies. We do not understand the fans in that sense. Another thing is to understand the contexts, provide security and work on coexistence. In the world, criminals have been removed from stadiums, not organized bars. That is what we should always do: isolate the violent and prosecute them. Fans are not criminals, regardless of the grandstand they attend. Criminals to jail, fans to the stadium. We promote coexistence and remove the violent from football. I myself sanctioned fans for promoting violent acts in stadiums: Nacional fans have not been able to enter El Campin for more than 12 months, Cali fans cannot enter for 12 months, Bucaramanga fans for six dates; that of America, for an indefinite time, cannot enter elements of animation. We have designed checkpoints: at the entrance to Bogotá, a bus with weapons, knives or sticks, a bus that returns. We have a table with the Prosecutor’s Office to take forward the cases of acts of intolerance in the streets and prosecute the violent.

Felipe Jiménez explained that they have been working for months on a pilot plan with the bars.

Photo:

Government Secretariat of Bogota

Is the interest of this political position because the members of the barras bravas were part of the Goals in Peace program during the administration of today’s president Gustavo Petro, when he was mayor?

Not emphatically. Goals in Peace began in 1999. In our administration we linked female fans to the program for the first time in 24 years. We have men and women belonging to popular and traditional bars. We work with soccer moms, fans’ moms, from different programs and visions. For the first time there is a gender component in the program. Goals in Peace is not a patronage program to hire bar members: it is a patrimony of our city that we must take care of. We work to promote coexistence and prevent violence in football. Our vision has nothing to do with the fact that the current President has linked members of the bars to his administration.

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