For red-hot enthusiasm, Argentine football (i.e., soccer) fans rate with any sport fanatics in the world. Buenos Aires alone supports 16 big-league clubs and 24 second-class teams, each with its own stadium or field. The season runs for 30 weeks: on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, crowds totaling more than 300,000 turn out in the capital.

When a porteño goes to the stadium he wears his oldest clothes, yells himself hoarse, insults opposition rooters, throws oranges, occasionally sets fire to the stands if things go too badly. Few women (and fewer ladies) go to the games.

Futbol and politics are so tangled...

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