Rafael Di Zeo returns to command of the Boca bar against Deportivo Cali: this is the strategy used by the leader of La 12 to enter Colombia

Rafa Di Zeo will be the Boca Juniors fan in Colombia against Deportivo Cali, at the debut of the Copa Libertadores.  Mauro Martín, his lieutenant at La 12, failed to pass the immigration authorities in Panama and had to return to Argentina (PHOTO AFP / ALEJANDRO PAGNI)
Rafa Di Zeo will be the Boca Juniors fan in Colombia against Deportivo Cali, at the debut of the Copa Libertadores. Mauro Martín, his lieutenant at La 12, failed to pass the immigration authorities in Panama and had to return to Argentina (PHOTO AFP / ALEJANDRO PAGNI)

When tonight the cameras will settle in the visiting gallery of the Deportivo Cali Stadium, a gray-haired man will be standing on an avalanche smiling at the world. What he cannot do in Argentina, he will do it in Colombia, on his debut as a cupbearer at Boca. Because Rafael Di Zeo, who for six long years cannot enter any stadium in our country, will lead the La Doce troupe in this Copa Libertadores which has its own group stage kick-off bell today.

And he won’t be alone, of course: next to him will be placed all his courtly circle who traveled Monday morning via Panama e They will also be the most loyal to Mauro Martín, who made the same trip with the same scale but a day earlier, at dawn on Sunday, after seeing Boca’s draw with Arsenal. Of course this contingent will miss its leader: at the Panama port, the immigration authorities of that country they had him on a blacklist and Although Colombia has not placed any impediments, they did not allow him to enter the territory of the Central American country that’s why yesterday they deposited him at noon on a plane back to Buenos Aires. The bar leader mumbled in anger, showed him all the cards so that they would allow him to leave Argentina but there was no case and had to turn around.

Why Di Zeo yes and Mauro no? because last year Mexico has tightened its immigration laws for anyone with a pending court case already Mauro Martino He had wanted to travel with his entire family to the beaches of the Riviera Maya. AND He did this through Panama. When Mexico rejected him (a cover-up trial is pending with the rest of the gang for an extortionate kidnapping in 2016 by Maximiliano Mey Oetinger, one of the bosses of La Doce), Panama has taken note of this and has also included it on its list of undesirables.

What can happen tonight? There are several alternatives. because you remember it La Doce’s last trip to Colombia ended very badly. It was 2019 when Boca played against Deportes Tolima in Ibagué, he went via Bogotá and there they were denied entry by the immigration authorities. Who was the Minister of National Security then? Patricia Bullrich, had informed her peer in Colombia that the bar leader had a history of violence in football and barriers until 2024 to enter stadiums. And that’s why he was expelled. But this time taking into account that experience, La Doce preferred not to go through Bogotá but through Panama and from there directly to Cali and it seems to have been an effective tactic. At least until now. It should be remembered that since the Coronavirus pandemic the possibility of going as a visitor has been prohibited, both for the 2020 and 2021 Cups, so this is the first international experience of the post-COVID-19 bar.

In 2018, Di Zeo filmed himself entering the Palmeiras Boca in Sao Paulo.  It was the last foray of the 12 abroad
In 2018, Di Zeo filmed himself entering the Palmeiras Boca in Sao Paulo. It was the last foray of the 12 abroad

The last actual experience of the entire Doce in a foreign stadium dates back to the 2018 Cup, when it was seen in full in Sao Paulo, against Palmeiras in the group stage. Subsequently, in the quarter-finals against Cruzeiro, Argentine justice denied them permission to travel at the request of the government. Nor could they be in the final in Madrid, where they accompanied the bus to Ezeiza airport but without being able to get on the plane. Instead they have now managed to get Federal Oral Court Number 8, where the pending case is filed, to allow them to travel. So they left the country. Thus everyone, except Mauro, entered Colombia. So they will encourage Boca, challenging once again the Argentine laws that want him out of all competitions.

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