Manuel López is a boy, he is 24 years old and he is a teacher. He has never seen his team, Real Sociedad, play a final, but his heart skipped a beat at noon. He was taking the children out of class, on his way to the dining room, when several messages began to ring at the same time on the phone. He read some. A boy observed something strange: “What’s wrong? Your face has turned white.” They announced that the radio was telling that it was studying whether in the final of April 3 in La Cartuja, there could be an audience in the stands, and that also, only Andalusian fans will be able to enter, something that the Government has cooled this afternoon to through the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, although the decision will be made this Thursday. He is president of the Peña El Sur de Jaén. “Normally, I watch the children in the dining room, but I couldn’t do it. I took the laptop and started answering messages and emails for two hours ”.
Something similar happened to Gerardo Flores. He works for the Guadiana Hydrographic Confederation. He leads a team that is dedicated to pulling invasive plants from the banks. When the first messages reached him, he did not know that this was going to turn into madness. He is the coordinator of Athletic clubs in the western area of Andalusia. “It has been a non-stop. We are 35 official clubs and a few more that are yet to be, like the one in Tarifa. Another 16 from Badajoz are also integrated ”. When he received the news that La Cartuja could house at least a third of its capacity, he jumped for joy. “But we will have to see, because the game is played on Saturday of Holy Week and it could happen that the Junta de Andalucía decrees a provincial closure and only the supporters of Seville can enter.”
What is clear is that if there is an audience, the Andalusian supporters of Athletic and Real Sociedad are well positioned to get tickets. “We think so,” says Juan Jesús Piñero, vice president of the Óscar De Marcos de Dos Hermanas Peña (Seville). “We were already happy that the game was played in Seville, although with the pandemic roll we could not enter, that if in the end we can, it will be milk.” There are 45 members of his club and they all want their entry, “there are even people who are not members of the club who are asking us. The phone keeps ringing. “
It is difficult to understand the reasons for being a supporter of Athletic or Real in Andalusia. Manuel López theorizes: “There are two types. Some, like my 50-year-old father, who joined the Real in the days of Arkonada, when they won two Leagues, and others, like me, because we already inherit it. And look what we’ve been through. “I have never seen the Real play a final! And I have seen the team in bad times, and in the Second Division.”
In Seville there are two Athletic clubs, both in Dos Hermanas. One is the Nazarena, which coincides in the name with the one that La Real has in the capital of Seville, and another is that of Juan Jesús Piñero. If the provincial closure is imposed, those three would be the ones that could go to the field if the public is admitted. But the other Andalusian groups implore heaven. Gerardo Flores, who goes every season “five or six times” to San Mamés, points out: “I have spoken with those of the Peña Jarrillera, from Portugalete. They have congratulated me. It is a pity that they cannot come, but we are delighted. In addition, we beat Real by a landslide. We are many more ”. But be careful: “We have won many times in San Mamés and 45,000 people enter there”, replies Manuel López. “They are not going to put us down with that.” Will they have tickets? “I want to think so. We will have to discuss it with the Real. Since the partners cannot come, we hope to be able to represent them ”.
Both the Andalusian peñistas of Athletic and those of La Real, dream of going to La Cartuja to support their teams. “Already winning would be great. Anyway, I have to ask for a week off from school to assimilate it ”.