Excluded from a competitive game, frequent Itaquera fans revolt


Carlos de Comi, 34, goes to Itaquera for almost every Corinthians game. He meets friends at what he calls “auntie’s bar”, near the Artur Alvim subway station, and heads towards the south sector of the alvinegro stadium.

On Tuesday night (2), in the important duel with Flamengo, for the quarterfinals of the Copa Libertadores, he will not be able to do that. A good part of the tickets for the most popular area of ​​Neo Química Arena was destined to visitors. The rest lasted about a minute in the online sales system for supporters.

The alternative for Comi and many others in a similar situation was to book the ticket from another sector. For his presence in the south, unavailable, he would have paid R$38.50. The next on the scale would be the upper east, for R$ 150 – already with a 25% fan-partner discount.

“By this agreement that the board decided to make, there was little left of the popular tickets, and I couldn’t. I would only have it from 150 reais. “, said the tax consultant.

The agreement referred to by him was the one made between the president of Corinthians, Duilio Monteiro Alves, and that of Flamengo, Rodolfo Landim, so that there would be 4,000 visitors in Itaquera, 4,000 in Maracanã. The terms bothered several blacksmiths, because the Rio stadium, with a current capacity of close to 69,000 spectators, is much larger than the arena on the east side of São Paulo, which holds about 45,000.

Corinthians complain that there was no proportionality. And remember that the sector destined to the flamenguistas is close to the field, behind the goal, where it is possible to exert greater pressure. At Maracanã, outsiders stay away from the lawn, at the top, and towards the corner flag.

“We made available two-thirds of the popular sector and there was no compensation. The percentage is almost double, we gave in twice as much. It’s absurd!”, shouted Carlinhos, as he is known at “aunt’s bar”. “Besides that in Maracanã we are far away. Here, we offered our best 4,000 tickets.”

Conmebol (South American Football Confederation) does not establish in its regulations a minimum amount for visitors. There is tacit agreement that there are at least 1,000 tickets available for away fans, although the most common load has been 2,000. Had he given 2,000, Corinthians would have received 2,000. The number of 4,000 was reached.

The black and white club defended the adopted solution, saying it will allow more of their fans to be present in the return match. “We are sure that having Fiel in force in the second and decisive game at Maracanã will make all the difference,” he published on social media.

The problem is that the club did not explain to fans how the 4,000 tickets available for the match in Rio de Janeiro will be distributed next week. At least not to ordinary fans or fan-partners.

The load, as is known, is largely sent to the organized supporters. Councilors and social club members are honored. The fan who is not associated with any uniformed – even if he is a member-fan and has several hundred points accumulated in the system, due to his attendance – is not covered.

On Tuesday morning, there was a queue at Flamengo’s congested ticket site. Without any information from Corinthians, alvinegros registered on the red-black page, which warned, since last week: “Available for your profile on the 2nd, at 10 am”.

The site even pointed to a queue of over 5,000 people – including, of course, flamenguistas. But those who managed to access the system could not find entrances to the visitors’ sector. For a simple reason, not communicated by Corinthians: they would not be sold there.

“There is no respect for the fan!”, complained lawyer Henrique Moura, 34, frustrated in his attempts to get his ticket. “All the moves seem to have the power to avoid going to the stadium. It’s a midweek game, in another state, that’s been scheduled for a month. What’s the reason the sale hasn’t been structured?”

It may even have been structured, but there was no communication to the general public. It was designed with the consent of the organized groups – who did not lose space in Itaquera and secured theirs in Maracanã –, but there was no question of contemplating people like Henrique and Carlinhos.

When questioned, Corinthians stated, through its communication department, that “the president has already given all the explanations”. There was, then, a new question, specific, regarding the destination of the 4,000 tickets for the Maracanã. As of the publication of this text, there has been no response.

The long-awaited showdown begins Tuesday night. Carlinhos will not be at his usual place in the south sector of Itaquera.

“The anxiety of the game took me, right?”, he said. “I ended up dreaming that I had managed to go to the game, I had managed to get there and enter. I arrived at the door, I was stopped, I showed the RG and managed to enter. That was kind of crazy! Corinthians won, everyone happy. Then, the alarm clock rang.”

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