Leonardo Ponzo, an Argentine fan of the Boca Juniors soccer team who was arrested the day before during a match in Brazil for having made alleged racist gestures, would have been released on bail, after paying a fine of close to 600 dollars on Wednesday.
Although at the moment neither the Brazilian police nor the Argentine authorities have confirmed Ponzo’s release, the local media Sheet Sao Paulo reported that the 43-year-old fanatic had managed to pay bail of 3,000 reais after receiving the support of officials from his country’s consulate while he was detained.
ponzo was arrested during halftime of the Copa Libertadores match between Boca Juniors and Corinthiansheld at the Neo Química Arena stadium in Sao Paulo, after it was recorded on video by Brazilian fans while gesticulating and jumping like a monkey, apparently alluding to the rival team.
The recordings were reviewed by the stadium’s security team, who detected Ponzo through their cameras and proceeded to remove him from the sports venue to take him to the Special Criminal Court (Jecrim), where he was accused of uttering racist insults, a crime that in Brazil it is punishable by up to three years in prison.
After the events, Corinthians deplored the “acts of racism and discrimination” and thanked the Military Police for their support. “This fact only reinforces the importance of our fight for football without hate”said the Brazilian team. In response, the Boca Juniors club also expressed “its absolute repudiation”, described Ponzo’s action as xenophobic and promised to take measures and possible sanctions in this case.
Club Atlético Boca Juniors expresses its absolute rejection of the racist and xenophobic gestures of a fan towards Corinthians supporters. At the next meeting of the Board of Directors, the measures to be implemented and the possible sanctions to be applied will be analyzed.
– Boca Juniors (@BocaJrsOficial) April 27, 2022
Robson de Oliveira, president of the Racial Equality Commission in Sao Paulo, told Sheet what “Crimes of racism are taxable and imprescriptible” and, therefore, the Supreme Federal Court of Brazil should not have allowed the fanatic to be released on bail.
This es the second time in two weeks that racist behavior has emerged during football matches between teams from Brazil and Argentina.
On April 13, a fan of the River Plate club was filmed while throwing a banana at Fortaleza fans in a Copa Libertadores match played in Buenos Aires. As a measure, the Argentine club suspended the fanatic and compromised to prevent him from entering the Monumental Stadium of Núñez.