A football-loving country will of course be delighted when its team appears in a World Cup final. But in Argentina, things are much more than that.
From the analysis angle of leading economic experts ArgentinaSalvador Di Stefano, neutral fans will have a clearer view of the “madness” of football believers in Tango when the final is approaching.
In a recent post on Yahoo, Mr. Salvador Di Stefano shared: “Albiceleste’s victory over Croatia and their reaching the final created a sea of people pouring into the streets. They celebrated all night, and for days, it seemed that the euphoria remained.
Day and night television broadcasts stories of ‘Scaloneta’, while schools crippled by teachers and students watching Argentina’s matches together, all talking about football. Perhaps, no one cares about studying these days.
Argentinian fanaticism is very, very big. I don’t see Europeans forcing their children to take a day off school to watch the World Cup… However, in Argentina, skipping school is nothing. Grandparents, parents, children are willing to go to Qatar to watch football. They brought their dogs to the field to cheer for the national team.
According to data from the travel agency Despegar, searches for flights from Argentina to Qatar have increased fourfold after the win over Croatia. This is a sharp increase from the previous day. Within half an hour of the end of the semi-final, airlines sold out of tickets for the flight scheduled to depart in three days, prompting many to arrange additional flights.
According to Mr. Di Stefano, in order to fulfill the dream of the World Cup, many Argentine families are ready to sell their houses, regardless of where they will live when they return: “Whoever decides to throw away his house to try to leave from Buenos Aires to Doha to watch the final must pay a round-trip ticket from 7 to 10 thousand USD.
In addition, there are also accommodation and travel and food costs in Qatar. While in Argentina, most people receive their salaries in pesos, and buying dollars to save or spend abroad is almost impossible, unless you go to the black market, where they cost almost twice as much.
Well, you can use a credit card to spend in USD, but if you spend more than 300 USD per month, you will have to pay a very high tax rate. Currently, the minimum wage in Argentina is 57,900 pesos ($181/month), and in the second quarter, unemployment reached 6.9% of the population. In a society where the majority of the population lives on state subsidies or unstable work, this is really worrying.”
When asked how Argentina, already in the midst of an economic crisis, is still one of the countries that contributed the most visitors at the 2022 World Cup? “It’s because we’re very happy, we’re very passionate about football and we have an economy that allows a lot of people to travel that way,” Di Stefano said. In Argentina, football is almost a religion and we all consider it that way, we are obsessed with it.
We have 47 million Argentinians and the upper class is 5%. This figure shows about 2.3 million people with stable economic capacity, they own most of the wealth in our country. So they have no problem traveling abroad to watch any game, not just football.”
Most of the rest are the common people living with the fear of inflation every day. According to Mr. Di Stefano, in October 2022, the average Tango resident spent 1.88 times more to buy a product than at the same time a year ago. In the first half of 2022, up to 36.5% of Argentina’s urban population is poor (equivalent to 10.6 million).
Through the above statistics, plus a few lines shared by expert Di Stefano, it can be seen that at this moment, only football can ease the difficulties of the people of Tango.
According to Dang Lai (Tien Phong)
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