Franco Nieto

The Value of Footballers' Life

At times, silence is better than any explanation.

Past Wednesday, an Argentine footballer from a local league in La Rioja province died from his wounds after he was beaten by a gang of rival fans on the previous Sunday after a match, as the league from Aimogasta confirmed yesterday.

The beating occurred Saturday after the match between the teams Tiro Federal and Chacarita Juniors at the San Francisco Stadium. The match was suspended due to a fight between players 15 minutes before its end. Tiro Federal was winning with a 3-1 score and the referee expelled eight players.

The 33-year-old player, Franco Antonio Nieto, was the captain of Tiro Federal and was brutally beaten with a brick after leaving the stadium, where the match was played.

Nieto was taken shortly to Vera Barros Hospital in La Rioja city, the capital province, where he died three days later.

The police arrested three suspects of the attack.

This sad incident comes after another incident which occurred earlier this year, in the Algerian league. Cameroonian striker Albert Ebossé, who played for JS Kabylie, died on23 Aug in a similar incident. He had scored the only goal for his team in a 2-1 home defeat to USM during the Algerian football championship. The defeat provoked the some JS Kabylie’s supporters and they started throwing projectiles from Tizi Ouzou stadium’s stands as the players were returning to the changing rooms. One of them fatally hit the Cameroonian player in the head. 

Ebossé was taken to a hospital in Tizi Ouzou, Kabylie (110 km east of Algiers), where he later died of the head injury.

The president of the African Football Confederation, Issa Hayatou, called for 'exemplary sanctions against such a grave act of violence'.

With these murder cases, BabaGol asks: Does it worth it?

One of the main ideas of football is to entertain the crowd. Footballers are normal people who like to play the game, and it is their job. They shouldn’t suffer any type of violence - It is just a game.

A lot of money is invested in football. Corruption, drugs and mafias are taking part in the back stage of this game. The most outrageous part however, is the reactions of the Police and football officials. Investigations and calls for sanctions are being held, but no one takes responsibility over this violence towards players, in the wide aspect.

After incidents like this, the questions are roaming.

The fans are being punished, but are there preparations to prevent the next incident? Are there improvements in the security of football players? Does the life of a player in Argentina or in Algeria worth less than a life of a player in the Premier League? 

Practical answers and conclusions are needed, as soon as possible, before the next horrific event.