Messi sticker fever forces Argentine government to intervene
The news stands slam Panini for the lack of stickers ahead of the World Cup, while on the black market Messi is sold for the country’s minimum wage.
Antonela Roccuzzo shared a few hours ago the joy of her son Mateo on getting one of the most coveted trading cards: that of his father, Lionel Messi. The little boy posed exultantly while carefully holding the treasured item, and the fact is that the passion in Argentina for these collectables has reached such a point that the Government has been forced to mediate between the news stands and Panini, the company behind the cards
Why has the Argentine government got involved with Panini stickers
As we previously reported, the Qatar 2022 World Cup album has become a serious matter, demand has exceeded all forecasts and prices have skyrocketed on the black market. A sticker of Messi has sold for more than 315 dollars, with which you could buy more than 300 new packs if so inclined. But the brunt of this situation has been borne by the news stands, who have slammed Panini because supposedly the company has profited from other points of sale, such as supermarkets, gas stations and even Internet applications.
Spanish news outlet El País spoke with Juan Vargas, owner of a business in the center of Buenos Aires. According to him, he sold the boxes supplied to him in just one day and has since had to deal with the anger of customers for not having more World Cup packs available. He says that several individuals even tried to destroy the kiosk, something that has been seen elsewhere in the country as frustration grows. Many of these sellers have put up banners against Panini for not having given “priority” to more traditional vendors, accusing them of disloyalty and selling to supermarkets and gas companies.
Why is there so much World Cup Panini demand?
Many people are puzzled as to the fever for these trading cards. One theory seems clear, however, and that is that it will presumably be Lionel Messi’s last World Cup, making it a real collectors item that could fetch serious money. In addition, Argentina starts as one of the favorites for the competition after winning the Copa América against Brazil in 2021 and the population dream that Scaloni’s men can repeat the feats achieved in 1978 and 1986. Having cards of that team would therefore rise in value.
On the other hand, we find theories that border on conspiracy, both because of the company’s supposed strategy of promoting compulsive sales as the date of the World Cup approaches, as well as because of the closing down of imports, the lack of paper and the sale of these in Brazil.
Government mediates for Panini cards
The Argentine Ministry of Commerce has shown on its official Twitter account the government’s attempt to mediate in this complicated situation. At a huge table, the Union of Kiosqueros of the Argentine Republic (UKRA) met on one side. and on the other, the Argentine delegation of Panini. Up to four officials were present and from the institution they have made their legal and technical teams available to both parties “to collaborate in the search for possible solutions.”
This has caused some controversy, since many citizens consider that there are other priorities to be dealt with urgently, such as the inflation that the hurting the economy.
While the meetings continue, the queues at the kiosks are getting longer and longer and people of all ages are in search of that rare Messi sticker. Its price has reached 45,000 pesos, precisely the minimum wage that the country had in the month of August.