The practice of tearing up money during football matches to taunt local teams about the value of the Argentinian peso has led to a crackdown by the Argentine authorities. This provocative behavior has become common among fans of clubs from other South American nations, particularly Brazil and Chile, as a way to mock the economic difficulties faced by Argentina due to soaring inflation.
Argentina’s ongoing economic struggles, characterized by high inflation rates and a significant devaluation of its currency, have prompted authorities to take action. The country’s Agency for the Prevention of Violence in Sport has stated that tearing up money violates existing laws against “incitement to quarrel” and “provocations that will disturb public order” at sporting events.
Fans caught engaging in this behavior will face serious consequences, including up to 30 days in prison. Local law enforcement will detain offending fans, and their clubs may also be penalized if the problem persists. The move comes as Argentina’s inflation rate has risen steeply in recent years, exceeding 100% for the first time since the hyperinflation of the early 1990s. In June, the inflation rate reached 115.6%, as reported by the country’s statistics agency.
The value of Argentina’s currency has also experienced a significant decline, leading to the introduction of a new 2,000-peso note in February. This move followed the sharp devaluation of the 1,000-peso note, which had previously been the largest denomination, plummeting to just $2.70 on alternative markets.
Argentina’s economic challenges have not only impacted its currency but also created political instability. Frequent changes in the country’s economy ministers and financial policies reflect the turbulent economic environment. In March 2022, the International Monetary Fund approved a 30-month bailout package for Argentina, with an expected final value of $44 billion.
The crackdown on fans using currency destruction as a taunting tactic underscores the urgency of addressing Argentina’s economic challenges and maintaining public order. While football matches have historically been a platform for passionate support, the need to curb actions that incite quarrels and provoke disturbances has become a priority, given the fragile economic situation and its implications for the country’s stability.