Football NewsArgentine football club players accused of youth player abuse
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Controversy in Argentine football club over accusations of youth player abuse


Football Hazing: The Problem of Violent Baptisms

A violent baptism is a long-standing problem in professional football teams, particularly among youth players. The recent red card given to Ignacio Miramon during the Banfield-Gimnasia match has once again brought this issue to the forefront of the news.


The Background

The red card was given to Ignacio Miramon after he kicked Brahian Aleman, who had previously played for the team during his five-year stay at Estancia Chica. The incident had violent undertones, and journalist Mateo Romero later revealed that Aleman was the leader of an internal gang that called themselves ‘Los Ninjas.’ Their mission was to beat up young players who came up through the youth ranks, in a baptism-like ritual that is more common in rugby squads than football teams.

Romero revealed that in June 2021, the gang led by Aleman had entered Miramon’s room three times and attacked him. They then went to Torres’ room, wrapped him in sheets, and beat him as well. These incidents shed light on the prevalence of violent hazing in professional football teams, despite the club’s official policies prohibiting such practices.


The Official Statement

Following these revelations, Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata Club released an official statement denying the allegations of abuse during the 2021 preseason. The statement expressed the club’s dissatisfaction and concern about the spread of false information and reaffirmed its institutional policy prohibiting any form of physical force during hazing, rituals, or rites of passage. The club also expressed its rejection of all forms of violence in sport.


The Response

Mariano Cowen, the president of Gimnasia, acknowledged the incident’s gravity and warned that those responsible for the attacks would be punished. Mauro Boselli, a former striker, also spoke out against these types of practices, stating that they make no sense and that they do not want to ridicule young players who are doing their first preseason.


The Need for a Zero-Tolerance Approach to Violent Hazing in Football

The prevalence of violent hazing in professional football teams, particularly among youth players, remains a persistent issue. While many clubs have policies prohibiting such practices, they still occur. It is imperative for clubs to take a firm stand against violent hazing and to educate their players about the harm and consequences of such practices.