Journey to the origins of our football

“Amateur football is the part of history that was missing. It is to discover and complete history. This book is the work of a long time, to base it. Not taking the amateur stage as part of our history just because it was not professional is like deny the history of a person before he was 18 years old because he was not of legal age. Even if he is older later, things also happened to each person before. In football, the same thing”, rightly analyzes Jorge Iwanczuk, author of a paper essential to know the origins of our football: History of amateur soccer in Argentina.

The book was originally published in December 1992. Three thousand copies sold in a short time. Now an expanded edition is presented, in which statistics are added, such as match results and standings. There are also vintage photos and drawings. And stories about players and teams. To bring it up to date, Iwanczuk – founder of the Center for Research in Football History (CIHF) – worked with a team of people who helped him with layout and layout. All lung. The author went ahead, republished it and now sells it on his own through the web. “The first interview,” he reminds her Libero-Page 12– I did it to Horacio García Blanco”, one of the greatest references of national journalism.

“I took full dimension of our omissions when I came across the History of amateur soccer in Argentinaby Jorge Iwanczuk. Reading its pages for the first time, I understood the magnitude of nonsense like never before. The injustice. That is the most precise word I can find to define what I felt when I read the formidable reports from the Brown brothers, from Francisco Olazar Racing, Alberto Ohaco and Juan Perinetti, from Boca five times champion of Américo Tesoriere, from Huracán four times champion of Césareo Onzari and Guillermo ‘Filtrador’ Stábile and, among others, of Francisco Varallo’s Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, champion of 1929″, prefaces the journalist Ezequiel Fernández Moores. “This work does not pretend to be the only and definitive one, but it does aspire to to be a starting point for others to complete the search task”, invites the author in his Note to the reader.

There are 408 pages that include the results of more than 10,000 matches “unknown until today.” There are “unfinished cups, tournaments and canceled matches”. “Several historians have contributed data to amend them and many of the fifty-five missing results in the first edition have even been obtained. Today there are only sixteen left”, announces the author on the first pages.

“In the early years, the British screwed us up,” Iwanczuk smiles. “They came in winter, used to playing in the mud, and they gave us a dance,” he adds. Until Racing appeared, “which invents the Rio de la Plata style: playing from below.”

To get into the subject, the writing begins with the origins of the game: different elements used as balls and in different areas. Sometimes they even played with animal heads, depending on the culture from which information is available. Then the rules appeared that led to rugby and then soccer. Regulated, it began in England and transcended its borders, at the end of the 19th century. Canada, South Africa, Australia and the United States are the countries that received it first. The federations appear and from there we went to Argentina. Matches between English and Argentines, between non-British teams, Argentines against Uruguayans and national teams. In 1912, Argentina joined FIFA. You have to read, then, the names and surnames of those who took the first steps for the growth of local football.

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In 1891, a tournament ignored by the AFA had been played, which had just given the go-ahead to that of 1893. This is how it was officially registered. Neighborhoods and also schools are essential to promote sport and especially football. The train routes spread the activity. The fields are set up near the stations. Lomas AC, Quilmes Club, Buenos Aires Railway and Saint Andrew’s dominate the scene. Rosario AC contributes its own. And the famous Alumni of the Brown brothers appears. “Alumni and Brown are like synonyms,” releases the author.

The text about Southampton’s visit to our country in June 1904 is very explanatory. “Vigorous young people who breathe life through their pores. They are kind, friendly and spread joy everywhere”, remember the Uruguayan journalists of their previous visit to Montevideo. An ovation receives them in the port of Buenos Aires. They are feted at the Jóckey Club. They win, like and thrash both in Argentina and Uruguay. By 1912 the legendary Alumni said goodbye, “full of school kids who couldn’t compete with the other clubs that were increasingly dedicated to soccer. There was no replacement,” explains Iwanczuk. Already then professionalism asked for a court. Times were changing.

In 1915 San Lorenzo ascended and the five big ones began the hegemony that they maintain until today. There is also a classic from La Plata. Iwanczuk tells us about the player Ernesto Sande, whose last name would become a registered trademark at Independiente. Soccer in Rosario is growing and the media are talking more and more about this sport. There is violence on the courts and in society, it is read in the author’s contextualization. River and Boca are already the most popular: they win championships while Banfield and Huracán grow. Everything is seen and read in black and white; even The graphic, which leaves the general information to give more attention to sports. Buenos Aires Municipality Cup, Competition Cup, Cusenier Honor Cup and Jockey Club Cup. More and more tournaments and more enthusiasm. Iwanczuk spares no data or findings. Like when he tells us that in 1911 there were figurines of soccer players, teams and shirts. Some were sold with the chocolates.

Spectacular journey in time History of Amateur soccer in Argentina It is at the same time a way of understanding how long we live detracting from a history as great as that of our football, which started long before professionalism.

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