This article was nauseating, to say the least. I think it was an important one because it covered the events of the 1978 World Cup and also brought in an element of humanity by sharing personal experiences Argentines had during the tournament. It all started when the military regime had come to power in 1976 through a coup, and since then, the government had been responsible for numerous human rights violations, including the abduction, torture, and murder of suspected political dissidents. In the lead-up to the World Cup, the military government was keen to use the tournament as a tool to bolster its legitimacy and reputation on the global stage. As a result, the government spent a vast amount of money on the tournament, building new stadiums, hotels, and other infrastructure. The government also used the tournament as an opportunity to clamp down on political dissent and opposition, using the police and military to suppress protests and silence opposition voices.
The article by ESPN highlights incidents that occurred during the tournament such as the human rights violations of prisoners who were being held at the ESMA (Navy School of Mechanics) detention center in Buenos Aires. The prisoners were reportedly taken from their cells and transported to a secret location where they were tortured and interrogated about their alleged involvement in leftist political groups. During their captivity, the prisoners were made to listen to the sounds of the World Cup matches being played on the radio. The Argentine team was performing well in the tournament, and the prisoners were reportedly taunted and abused by their captors, who told them that they were missing out on the opportunity to support their national team. The exact details of what happened to the prisoners during their captivity are not known, but it is believed that some of them were later killed or disappeared. The incident became known as the “Night of the Blackout,” It has remained a dark stain on the history of the World Cup and Argentine football. Despite the controversy surrounding the tournament, the 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina, who beat the Netherlands 3-1 in the final. The victory was celebrated by the military government, who used it as a propaganda tool to further their own agenda. Despite the glory, Argentina achieved there would always be a dark cloud over the country due to the events. The article by ESPN highlighted personal experiences people faced in Argentina and they were harrowing, to say the least.