Mysterious gnome statues appeared this week in the surroundings of the Pedro Bidegain stadium in the run-up to Saturday’s derby between San Lorenzo and Huracan in the Argentine Professional League Cup.
Local media reported that this “witchcraft”, aimed to get a positive result in the derby, was not claimed by any club fan and the dolls were removed late because no one dared to touch them.
“In this type of match there are no favourites. The dummies appeared, I read about it and I thought it was funny. I don’t think those things influence a match,” San Lorenzo coach Ruben Insua told reporters on Friday.
After the incident, coffin-shaped posters with red drawings of ghosts with the faces of fans Ulises Fernandez and Rodrigo Silvera, who lost their lives in violent clashes between supporters, appeared in the vicinity of Huracan’s headquarters.
“Regrettable. Nothing to do with what represents the folklore of one of the most beautiful matches in Argentina,” said local media outlet Ole, criticising the response of some San Lorenzo fans to what happened at the stadium.
Tickets are sold out for a game that has carried over a rivalry of more than 100 years in the so-called “the neighbourhood derby” in which Huracan has not won away since 2001, when they triumphed 1-0 with a goal by Emanuel Villa.