THE MEMORY OF A SOCCER PLAYER AND BROTHER OF A DESAPARECIDO
On June 1st, 1978, the World Cup tournament kicked off on River Plate Stadium, just a few blocks away from ESMA, where men, women and children were being tortured.
Claudio Morresi was a soccer player for the minor league. He had managed to buy tickets to the World Cup’s opening match using the money he had earned working in food distribution. He sat and listened through dictator Jorge Rafael Videla’s message of peace while his brother Norberto had been disappeared for two years.
In the months prior to the World Cup that was held in Argentina, the many reports about repression in the country that were being filed abroad gained force. In Europe, a newly-formed Committee to Boycott the Argentina World Cup (COBA) gathered several thousand people in Paris and carried out an international campaign to collect signatures demanding the end of the tournament. The Argentine dictatorship went on with the organization anyway and denounced the international boycott as an anti-Argentina smear campaign that promoted “foreign” and “anti-homeland” interests. The dictatorship used the World Cup as a propaganda tool to gain support at home. The people joined massively and celebrated the win as a national victory.
The Five O’clock Tour began under the rain and the cold weather that anticipated the winter. Claudio Morresi was convinced no one would come to the venue.
Throughout the day, several friends had read that he would be present. They wrote to him saying they would attend. When the time came, around forty people were waiting to begin the tour. And so, the May Tour became one of the tours with the smallest audience, but, maybe, it precisely because of that it was one the more intimate ones.