It was played on April 3, 1982 at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein (South Africa). a match Rugby still remembered with both political and sporting connotations.. they faced The Springboks were rejected internationally for their laziness. racismand a proxy election ArgentinaHe did not dare to play that match, to wear the typical albiceleste jersey or to play as a team that could be identified with Los Pumas because of the bullfighter’s embarrassment. This is how El Periódico de España publishes it.
There are still those who prefer to just look at the scoreboard instead of thinking about the situation. non-sporting results. The South Americans managed to win 21-12. It was the first time they had beaten one of the strongest rugby teams on the planet. Fly half Hugo Porta scored all points for a team called up on the South American XV occasion. Not everyone thinks the same way about the advisability of holding that match anymore. Like everything in life, it has its pros and cons.
At the time, South Africa was headed by Marais Viljoen, the leader of the National Party, which adopted apartheid as a form of government from the beginning and was continued by his successor, Pieter Willem Botha. When he replaced him on September 3, 1984. It’s not hard to see why the Springboks were such a stinky international team in the 1980s. This discriminatory policy imposed by white leaders on the black majority eliminated the possibility of expanding abroad or strengthening ties with other countries.
‘Stop all racist tours’
Like this single New Zeland dared to host them in 1981 to undertake a tour that sparked an unprecedented wave of violence in the country. Those responsible for all of this are a part of the various sectors of New Zealand society. Campaign ‘Stop all racist tours’.
So from the beginning everything was problematic. South Africans had to take a private plane because the commercial flight attendants’ union refused to serve them. The last match on the calendar, which will be held in Waikato, was suspended for security reasons and the return of the visit, which was planned to be held a year later, was postponed. budding by New Zealand’s Supreme Court banning the tour.
Argentina was in the hands of the army. Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri ruled with an iron fist, a general who was sentenced to 12 years in prison years later for his repressive policy, although he was later pardoned. This pardon did not soften Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón, who came to issue an international arrest warrant with an extradition request that never got the expected response.
Galtieri was the same general who had ordered the landing on the Malvinas Islands the day before the match to start a war he knew he could never win against Great Britain. excuse to distract One of the problems that devastates Argentines. In military dictatorships, there is nothing new in placing patriotic interests above the real interests of the people.
Isolated by the rest of the world powers, South Africa also lived in a state of persistent tension with its neighbors Lesotho, Namibia and Mozambique. He needed international recognition, and Argentina sought to be his guarantor in this failed cosmetic operation, thanks to rugby. And at the time, the South African regime made heavy economic offers to any person or group encouraged to visit the country. It’s not that Galtieri believed strongly in this adventure, but the omnipotent Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) did the rest so his team could face the Springboks, which they hadn’t been able to beat until then.
planned One month tour to play 14 games throughout South Africa. The main course was, of course, two tests in which both teams would measure their strength. Everything surrounding this event tasted stale. The first match, played in Pretoria on 27 March, ended in a big victory (50-18) for the locals, but in reality did not respond to the equality demonstrated by both teams until the second half.
The Springboks felt so superior they couldn’t even imagine themselves being like that. closer to biting the dust more than they believe. Little did they know that the Argentines would count on the unexpected help of South African coach Nelie Smith, who was fired a year ago and came to the South American team’s training camp and gave them the keys to beat the home team. for the next game.
The stage was full of symbols. South Africans had chosen their city on this occasion. BloemfonteinCapital of the Orange Free State. It was not a trivial choice. The majority of citizens of Boer origin resided there. taking advantage of any opportunity to make clear the supremacy of the white man. They did not hesitate to use brutal violence if necessary.
Argentina, on the other hand, tried to whiten its image by giving up its essence, namely the albiceleste shirt.. The new one, designed for the event, was white with a light blue, red and yellow stripe with green cuffs and collar. The typical Argentine jaguar of Los Pumas appeared on the shield, along with the Uruguayan terro, the Paraguayan crocodile, the Chilean vulture and a rugby ball representing Brazil.
It was all just a facade. Most of the 42 players called up by South America XV had international experience outside of Argentina. five Uruguayans, two Chileans, and two Paraguayans. Albiceleste coach Rodolfo O’Reilly realized years later that this small group of nine players foresaw that they would only play a few games in the round, and in reality they had “admittedly” accepted their second place. He starred in the b-team, also known as La Legión, which achieved two victories against inconsistent opponents.
It was a unique opportunity and the Argentines knew it. The 21,000 spectators attending the match confirmed that Hugo Porta’s men were serious. Not a minute passed when Jorge Allen’s violent interception against the Springboks’ figure, Naas Botha, forced him to realize for the remainder of the match that he had received no charges other than messing up the match with his own hands. usual craftsmanship. The psychological factor had already fallen to the Argentine side. According to journalist Juan Ignacio Provéndola, socialite Serafín Dengra took stopping the South African forwards so seriously that “the night before the game decided to mess around until the parking meters on the sidewalk were crooked”.
Sportingly, the Argentine captain was a figurehead. All scores were his signature: one try, one conversion, one relegation and three penalty kicks. He also triumphed on the political level because years later, when apartheid was over, his country appointed him ambassador. “We wanted to play rugby and South Africa has always been an attraction… go to help”, recognized after filming. There is nothing to blame.
He wasn’t the only one making political gains. Juan Pablo Piccardo was Minister for Public Spaces and the Environment along with Mauricio Macri, and coach Rodolfo O’Reilly was appointed Under-Secretary of Sport a year after his tour with Raúl Alfonsín. Others, such as Alejandro Puccio, whose life was filmed in the Goya award-winning film “El Clan,” fell out of favor. The Argentine wing and several members of his family participated in a series of murders; one of them was involved in a series of murders involving Isabel Menditeguy’s then-boyfriend and son of a wealthy family, Ricardo Manoukian, who became his second wife years later. former President Mauricio Macri.
This feat failed to hide the fact of a country where all the rights of the black population were curtailed. The actors themselves witnessed this cause. Marcelo Lofredda, who, as the Argentine coach, led his country to the only semi-finals in its history at the 2007 World Cup, said: surprised us because we were served by people of color in many places. They approached us and gave us courage, they were like our fans. They told us: They have to beat them, they have to beat them”.
No other team visited South Africa until the collapse of apartheid in 1993. A year after this bitter victory, President Raúl Alfonsín broke off relations with South Africa, which was reinstated by Carlos Menem in 1994 following the election victory of Nelson’s party. mandela
Argentina is split between those who defend this round and those who censor it. As data, the UAR calculates the South American XV games specific to Los Pumas. Without any nuance. There are others, like the unforgettable Agustín Pichot, who still suffer and deny this victory. actually someone He changed the name of this team to the Jaguars, a cougar with black spots.. It took another 30 years for the official version of Pumas to achieve its goals. They did so in Durban in 2015 with a positive score of 37-25. It was a restorative victory for another, dotted with so many non-sports aspects that prevent many rugby fans from justifying it.