Current Boca Juniors Vice President Juan Román Riquelme and former Argentine President Mauricio Macri will be competing in the club’s presidential elections. Riquelme announced he would be leading his own ticket just hours after Macri announced he’d be joining Andrés Ibarra’s candidacy as vice president. Boca club members will vote for a new president on December 2.
“We must vote to defend our club”, Riquelme said in a press conference earlier this week. “These elections are going to be very simple for the fans: Do we want to still be a football club? Or do we want to be used for politics?”
Riquelme’s comments came in the midst of rumors that Macri was looking to join one of the tickets to compete for the Boca presidency, a position he held between 1995 and 2007. That was confirmed on Monday, as Macri announced his intention to join Ibarra’s list.
“It is an honor for me to tell you that I’m joining Andrés Ibarra as a vice presidential candidate for Boca,” wrote the former president on his X account. “In the face of the arbitrariness, authoritarianism and arrogance that we see, I can’t abandon the club. We have no future like this.”
Riquelme, currently vice president under President Jorge Ameal, will be instead running under his own agrupation, called Soy Bostero (Spanish for “I am a manure carrier,” a reference to a slang term Boca fans identify with).
Macri and Riquelme have been embroiled in a war of words ever since they were the club‘s president and star player respectively. Riquelme famously forced Macri to negotiate his contract personally after mocking the president during a goal celebration in 2001 due to the ongoing negotiations.
Boca has about 350,000 members, but only those “active” members with more than two years of experience are able to vote. It is estimated that there will be 98,000 members qualified for the December elections.