Fight Central

Newell’s Old Boys got a HEGS headline last week thanks in part to their chairman, Eduardo López. It obviously affected the air in Rosario, because on Monday a video was made public of the city’s other top-flight football president, Horacio Usandizaga of Rosario Central, engaging in some extraordinary tirades against his very own players, including an eyebrow-raising: ‘I’m going to kill those sons of whores…’, all in response to the poor few years the club has had.

Opening a new branch of the fans’ organisation in Funes last week, Usandizaga took the microphone and began his rant against the players and the club’s technical staff, who he blamed for ‘the bad moment that this club is enduring in these times’. The remarks first became public in Rosario on Friday but it’s only on Monday that the video has been released (those who can follow Spanish can watch it in this story on the Olé site).

Usandizaga, who’s known as el Vasco in Rosario, used to be a radical politician, and clearly hasn’t lost that streak since he retired from politics in 2001. He took over the club’s presidency in November 2007 with Central bottom of the Apertura table, and oversaw an improvement in the Clausura, but his side currently sit second bottom with just two wins from nine matches, and apparently having the same points total as defending champions River Plate just isn’t good enough for the chairman.

With Pablo Sánchez already having left the manager’s seat a few weeks ago to be replaced by Gustavo Alfaro, it’s unsure what the current manager’s reaction will be like – or, indeed, that of his players. Alfaro has muttered about it being ‘important to remain calm right now,’ but how calm some of those players will be about a death threat from their own chairman (even if it wasn’t meant literally), we shall see.

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