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NFL CANADA


Has Chile tainted the U-20 tourney?
Fri, July 20, 2007

With Chilean tempers already boiling at some questionable officiating in their just-completed 3-0 semi-final loss to rival Argentina, chaos reigned supreme in the area of the Chile team bus, which was parked just outside the stadium.

According to witnesses, police used a stun gun on a member of the Chilean delegation as players were trickling onto the team bus, leading to a rukus featuring broken glass and pepper spray.

The incident is a wart on what to this point had been a successful event.

The big question for FIFA is how the situation last night got out of hand in the first place.

Send us your thoughts on the rukus on and off the pitch.

Chile is seeing red



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130 Comments

Wow...there is so much to say about this.

I was born Chilean and am proud of my heritage. I am also a proud Canadian, and a Soccer lover.

Last night's game was criminal. As soon as I saw the referee step out on the field, I knew how that game would turn out. I saw him shamelessy call everything in Argentina's favour against the Mexican team (who are also superior to this particular group of u-20 Argentine players). When I saw the red card come out, I looked at my husband and said "this is going to get ugly."

For the next hour or so, I saw the ref repeatedly call in favour of Argentina, and rob the Chilean team of any possibility of fulfilling their hopes for this tournament. He lost control of the game. Throughout all of the media coverage, it is amazing to me how little attention has been given to the referee's role in the night's events. Whether you choose to see it or not, he is in a very large part responsible. The rivalry between these two teams is long, and heartfelt. An intelligent & seasoned official would have foreseen what such an action so early in the game would provoke.

This being said, I would like to be clear and state that though I can completely understand the team's frustration,their pain at their loss, and anger at being "robbed" for lack of a better word, I do not condone going after the referee once the game was finished. As delegates of a nation you should have a bit of self-control, regardless of your youth. I feel their pain, but there are times when you need to show that you can be the class act. If not this is what happens, people focus on your negative behaviour, rather than what instigated it in the first place.

I was not at BMO field, but a Stun Gun? Gas Bombs? I don't believe for one second that these actions were necessary. I believe the players came to the defense of their teammate who was "tazered". I would have done the same.

Do I believe these players tainted the tournament? Though they made substantial errors in judgement, my answer is Absolultely Not! those pointing fingers (within FIFA) should have a look in the mirror before blaming the easy scapegoat. There is far more to this picture, than a few "out of control" chileans.


Paola CM, 2007-07-20 20:50:50

After watching Chile's players dive and roll around for the entire tournament it would appear that they have fallen victim to their own tactics and it looks good on them.

Once again, if diving and rolling around on the ground...getting carried off on a stretcher are part of this sport(?) then it becomes as credible as proffessional wrestling.

Kick the cry baby poor losers out of our Country.

I also can't believe that chile's head of state is dumb enough to accuse Toronto plolice of throwing "acid" in one of those babies faces. That kind of stuff only happens in backwards 3rd world countries like chile.

It seems the farther south of the equator you live, the dumber you are.
jay, 2007-07-20 20:17:12

Clearly the "Ref" lost it completely. I am just stunned such an idiot was pewemitted to spoil the cation.

Argetntine players should not be playing soccer but should try Hollywood instead
Leo VanLeeuwen, 2007-07-20 20:13:36

such a big deal about this:

the fact is that someone put in this kids the idea that they could win aganist argentina. and what happened is that they clashed with reality.

now the chilean attitude towards this reality crashes has always been the same, denying self responsability and blaming everyone they can:

fact: argentina won. why? because it IS A BETTER TEAM.

fact: chile reacted with violence. why? IMPOTENCE.

the day chile starts to re examinate their attitude, maybe they can win something in some sport (because they repeat the same attitude in EVERY thing they play)

fact: the police from canada was terrible. they cannot treat like that a bunch of 20 year-olds. shame on them.
Ezq, 2007-07-20 20:04:29

Banana republic you say? Soccer hooliganism is a phenomenae that seems to be tolerated and even perhaps encouraged around the world including in many of the real banana republics but it isn't and shouldn't be tolerated here. The Chilean team may not have expected the reaction they got from the folks in blue trying to keep the peace but that isn't to say it wasn't warranted. The TO cops do a great job and don't deserve the criticism they are getting right now from FIFA, Chile, the media and it seems albeit subtle, their own Mayor. Poor sportsmanship leading to unlawful behaviour that endangers the public should be left at the border of a generally peace loving, democratic and moderate country such as ours.
Mike, 2007-07-20 19:19:43

why do the Chileans keep saying that the big bad Toronto police were being brutal to their little 'kids'? Me at 18/19/20 could have kicked the crap out me now (29). They're not 12, they're grown men for crying out loud!

Also, has anyone seen the clip of the Chilean soccer player showing his 'injuries'? A bruise on his shoulder and what looks like a zit on his lip? If Chileans think that these are injuries, maybe they're not faking when they flop around on the field!
Pat, 2007-07-20 19:10:35

Chileans are known world wide for being very dirty players and sore losers. It's shameful that these people cannot act like civilised human beings. Shameful but not surprising at all. The police should have used more force.
Alden21, 2007-07-20 18:48:18

Makes one wonder if the refs don't watch tapes and talk about the teams ahead of time. Yes, Chilean players also have been known to flop, but the Argentines have made it an art. And the ref fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Unlike the best refs in the tournament, this ref also lost his temper, injecting his own emotion into an already hot game. Witness, for example, his snap yellow card of the Chilean keeper, who as team captain is actually the one player empowered to discuss calls with the ref.

The Chileans could have behaved better (as could the police), but the the spark that started this whole ugly mess was the flop that resulted in the first red card. Both of those players should have received yellow cards, but instead that was the beginning of the end.
Scott, 2007-07-20 18:46:30

The Chileans sound like a bunch of babies and sore losers. As for Isabel Espinoza's comments. Chile is a horrible country, they think Pinochet was a good leader, they treat the poor in their country like slaves, it's dangerous to walk the streets. The treatment they received was nothing more than they deserved, they have a history of this kind of savage uncivilized behaviour.
Alden21, 2007-07-20 18:43:48

Obviously the Chilean players would not have been in this prediciment had they followed some simple guidelines. They flopped around the field throughout the whole tournament, and their behaviour was less than proffessional.

The TO cops did what they were supposed to do. The players on the other hand, placed a blemish on an otherwise impressive event.

The Chilean Soccer players in this case are a bunch of crybabies and deserved what they asked for. They did a lot of diving and have a flair for the dramatic, and that drama is what led to the melee.
robert van hoorn, 2007-07-20 18:17:20

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