Economic troubles in sports world


Argentina has indefinitely postponed the start of its football season because a financial crisis has paralysed clubs, prompting furious protests from fans.  The season’s much-awaited kick-off was scheduled for 14 August but the Argentina Football Association said some clubs could not afford to pay players.

Dozens of fans smashed windows and spraypainted the walls of the association’s headquarters in Buenos Aires after the announcement. Police in riot gear dispersed the crowd but made no arrests.

Clubs have been squeezed by the global financial slowdown and relatively parsimonious transfer revenues from Europe – especially England’s Premier League – which used to pay hefty sums for South American talent.

It is a source of national pride that Argentina’s league is considered one of the world’s strongest. Estudiantes recently won the Copa Libertadores, the continent’s equivalent of Europe’s Champions League. But tumbling revenues have crippled big and small clubs alike. Last week the start of the second division season was postponed because of a debt crisis.”

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