Argentine football player gives opponent the needle
An Argentine football player has caused outrage after admitting that he used a needle to hurt his rivals during a cup match on Sunday.
Federico Allende, a defender for lower-division club Sport Pacifico, bragged in a radio interview about using the needle several times against strikers from top-division club Estudiantes.
Allende said that players had to be clever in order to win.
Pacifico’s president Hector Moncada vowed to expel the player.
“We are devastated. This incident has tarnished the team’s good work. I will expel him from the club,” Mr Moncada told Clarín newspaper.
Pacifico won the match 3-2, knocking Estudiantes out of the competition in a major upset.
The players were received like heroes in the small western town of General Alvear when they returned from Buenos Aires, where the match was played.
‘He must hate me’
But the good atmosphere soon turned into bad news.
Allende gave Cordoba’s Vorterix Radio an interview on Tuesday in which he said “you need to play dirty” to beat big clubs like Estudiantes de La Plata.
“I kept piercing the Estudiantes strikers with a needle,” said the Pacifico defender.
“We know that top division players don’t like contact, they don’t like if we waste time or if we play dirty. So that was the way to do it. Football is like that. Football is for the clever,” Allende said.
South American football expert Tim Vickery told the BBC that Allende had hidden two needles in his shin guards. One broke but, when the referee was at the other end of the field, Allende used the other to poke Colombian striker Juan Otero several times.
Otero complained to the referee during the match but to no avail.
Tim Vickery says there is “a beautiful romanticism” about South American football but there is also another side where you do what you can get away with.
Allende said on the radio: “I completely nullified Otero. He must hate me.”
After hearing the interview, Otero described Allende as “a nasty man”.