In Bangladesh, we vibrate for Argentina

On November 22, as the last minutes of Argentina-Saudi Arabia stoppage time elapsed, a man died of grief. Desperate by the inability of Messi, Di María and Lautaro to turn things around, this man suffered a heart attack just before the final whistle. Given the overflowing passion that Argentina arouses for its fans, the most astonishing thing is not the fact that this unfortunate man broke his pipe in stress before a match for his team. But that this tragic scene took place in Bangladesh, 16,700 kilometers from Buenos Aires! For several decades now, Bangladeshis have been completely locos from Argentina. After the victory against Mexico, thousands of people came out to celebrate the result in the streets of Dhaka. A television presenter even donned the Argentinian jersey on the occasion of the JT. In a World Cup that began with a troupe of extras from the Indian subcontinent playing the role of supporters of each team, the passion of Bangladeshis for Argentina is not simulated. Far from there. The images captured and relayed on Twitter prove it. In Bangladesh, we parade in rickshaw or motorbike in celestial dress. The typically South American custom of banderazowhich consists of marching by the thousands under the flag before a match, to support his team.

Diego and the Falklands War

But why so much love for a country located at the other end of the world with which there is a priori no historical or cultural connection? The affair began in the 1980s. In 1982, the Falklands War pitted the United Kingdom against Argentina. The inhabitants of Bangladesh, a former British colony which as such maintains a complex relationship with England, take up the cause of the South American country. Argentinian striker Raúl Becerra, who passed through the Bashudhara Kings club during the 2020-2021 season, also noted with astonishment in the Argentinian press that the Bangladeshis regularly spoke to him about the Falklands. During the 1986 World Cup, the country fell in love with Argentina and Diego Maradona during the legendary quarter-final at the Azteca stadium. By beating the English, it’s a bit like little Argentina avenging by proxy the humiliations experienced by the Bangladeshi people during the colonial era. The main architect of this revenge, Diego Maradona, becomes a national idol. So much so that a few years later, when number 10 was expelled for doping from the World Cup in the United States, hundreds of Bangladeshis took to the streets to burn signs bearing the image of FIFA President João Havelange. . Despite the end of Maradona’s career, the passion forAlbiceleste does not weaken. In September 2011, Argentina played a friendly match against Nigeria in Dhaka in a packed stadium and excited by the presence of Leo Messi. Giant screens are even installed everywhere in town so that no one misses the event.

Brazil vs Argentina, the Bangladesh derby

In Argentina as in Bangladesh, the passion for football sometimes gives rise to certain outbursts. During the 2014 World Cup, in the small town of Barisal, the barras bravas of the’Albiceleste decide to do battle with their compatriots who support Brazil. Reason for the fight? A Brazilian fan reportedly said in a bar that the Mano de Dios in 1986 was an act of cheating and not a stroke of genius. Unacceptable. Balance sheet of the fight? Eleven wounded and a shovelful of arrests! Rebelote in June 2022 when 300 Argentinian and Brazilian fans face each other with stone throws on a cricket pitch! A madness. It only remains to hope for the Bangladeshi authorities that theAlbiceleste and the Selection do not meet during the World Cup. In Dhaka, the confrontation could be heated.

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