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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


This comment is FULLY MODERATED.


I am a Chilean national, and what I want to say you all people is that there are two different issues here. In number 1 is the mistaken behavior of the chilean team in the field, as they fell on what Argentina tried to do during all the game, that was, trying to make chilean players loose self-control, do silly stuff, and be red-carded. Item number 2 and it must be understood clearly, is THE DISCRIMINATORY treatment that small countries receive all the time. During the game, as someone wrote here, the referee was the 12 Argentinean player. I am not saying that Argentina won because of him, but is evident that he "believed" everything in favor of Argentina's team. Is shameful to see a so unfair behavior in a referee. He was in some percentage, responsible of the anger in Chilean players, because he helped Argentina during all the game, and similar fouls, were punished with yellow or red card against Chile, while he didn't penalized Argentina's players at all. About the police.....COME ON...what they did is against the law. Is taking advantage of their authority, against some sad players, who only wanted to salute their fans. About the bus incident...what reaction can you expect if police through gas bombs inside the bus.???? What can you expect if they see a teammate being given electricity shots by the Canadian police?? It is very sad, because Chilean players didn’t deserved at all this unfair(in the case of the referee), and, in the case of the police, illegal action.


Cristian, 2007-07-20 16:03:04

Well, last nights game was so shameful. It`s so easy to look down at someone when something out of the ordinary happens. the Ref. (if you want to call him that???) should never be allowed to ref again, Argentineans (not to say they are all the same) should try out for plays or other acting career`s. Now the Chilean`s all i can say is you played tough and yes, it was hard to stay strong without getting emotional but having say`d that, I think anyone in that position would have a hard time not getting upset by the disgusting event that took place. FIFA should do a better job in picking Ref`s.

So the answer to your question. Has Chile tainted the u-20 tourney?

Defenately not!!! If anything it shows us that even with corruption among us, we can still fight and aim high.

Joe B.O.M
Joe, 2007-07-20 15:48:41

This is the chronology of the facts:

21.50 End of the match. After containing to some players that protest angrily against the German referee Wolfang Stark, the players went to the dressing rooms, except for two or three that take interviews of the Chilean press.

22.10 The players walk the 50 meters of the corridor with “L” form the lockers rooms of the Chilean people with the mixed zone. At the end of this area, only some take care of the Chilean press, the spirits are bad, in some cases angry, by the refereeing of the match.

22.15 One by one the players walk the 40 meters that separate them and the bus of the selection, that stays with its doors opened, flanked by two buses that transfer the Fifa’s civil employees.

22.20 Some players do not raise the bus, and choose to walk ten steps to the fence of 20 meters that separates the exclusive zone of the soccer players with the area where the fans are, as they did many times in previous matchs.

22.25 The rubbing begins. While the police tries to retire the Chilean players (because they have orders to avoid contact between the fans and soccer players), the players explain that they are only trying to talk to the Chilean public. Things get out of control, and the police use the force against Isaias Peralta, Cristián Sepúlveda and Jaime Grondona.

22.28 The battle begins. The police repress with brutal violence the player Isaiah Peralta (five to one), and reduce him with electrical shocks. He falls unconciuos and the policeman strike him successively while he lies on the floor. Another player, Alexis Sanchez, who was injured from the match an is only 1,65 meters tall, was trying to talk to the police to get to the fans, while 4 policeman hit him from the back. The players who were in the bus descend quickly to rescue their friends.

22.30 Once down, players and leaders alike are hit hard by the police. One of the managers of the ANFP (Chilean soccer society), Andrés Espinoza, shows his credential and shouts "He’s a player" (most of the chilean people don’t talk in english), to try to stops the blows against Peralta. The police reduce him, and also strike him with feet and fists. The testimony of Isaiah Peralta says that the aggression they suffered was followed closely by FIFA’s employees who did nothing.

22.32 Appears in scene the president of the ANFP, Harold Mayne-Nicholls. He asks in name of FIFA that the policeman stop striking the players. The player Cristián Suárez, who was beeing arrested, is rescued by the president of the ANFP, who sends him to the dressing room of Chile, where also was Jose Sulantay (coach), Nicholas Larrondo (that came from doping test), an 3 players, Medina, Martinez and Currimilla.

Suárez describes the facts of this form: "I was taking an interview when it happened, I tried to remove Isa (Isaias Peralta) from the fight, when a giant policeman stopped me, was only one, but you could do nothing, so I give up. Isa was very bad, he had convulsions and so I try to stay to help him".

22.35 All the Chilean players who are in the bus zone are reduced and forced to approach the bus. Isaias Peralta still lay in the floor, and the Chilean players open the bus windows and began to throw plastic glasses out. A policeman throws what players describe as a tear bomb, which starts a chaos inside the bus. The soccer players break glasses to be able to breathe, and get out of the bus by the windows. The police continue the beating, but after that they reduce and handcuff the players. Thirteen players are left prisoners in the dressing room.

A manager of the ANFP, Andrés Espinoza states: "In one moment Isaias (Peralta) recovers the conciousness and removes from his back some sort of nail, I tried to keep it, but a policeman took it violently and it threw it far away. We suppose that was a part of the electrical device they use to hit him".

22.40 In the dressing room of Chile wait Jose Sulantay (coach), and the players Larrondo, Medina, Martinez and Currimilla.Isaiah Peralta, Jaime Grondona, Caesar Suárez join them, the most affected in the recent fight, and they wait in a tense delay. The other 13 are locked up in the mentioned room at the stadium.

22.45 In the stretchers of the dressing room, the doctor Luis Salazar and his assistant Luis Alvarez take care of the wounded. They must also take care of the staff member Patricio Roman, who was unnable to open his eyes for 30 minutes due to the pepper spray used by the police.

22.50 In the two rooms where the Chilean team is detained, the testimonies agree in the provocative attitude of the policeman mounting guard. "They were laughthing among them, made fun of us and they watched to us challenging, like hoping that we reacted so they can beat us more. Staff member Luis Alvarez says “somebody said to a policewoman which was the more entusiastic with the pepper spray, “I learned your number”, and she responded giving her number, “It’s 7769".

23.00 A FIFA member, not yet identified, enters the dressing room. He says to both groups that they will be released without arrests or charges, but "nobody has to talk about what happened here". Half an hour later, the police released the Chilean team, around 23.30.

To be fair, the player's lack of discipline during the game (even with the bad refereeing) has no excuse. But nothing and nobody deserves that kind of treatement. Also to note, there was a report before of a racist behavior of the security in other matchs.
Miguel, 2007-07-20 15:46:28

I was at the game and I was inside the VIP area when the brawl broke out. Anyone who says that the players from Chile are totally innocent is deluding themselves. They trashed their bus, smashing windows etc..they started throwing stuff at the cops and officials. God knows what was said, but the cops clearly had had enough. I saw them take down the Chile players and though the tactic of choke holds and slamming them to the ground may seem harsh, that is what the police are trained to do. The problem is one of security around the stadium. About 300 Chile fans were directly in front of the bus and clearly egged on the players. In future, there should be a zone around the area of Gate 4 that is fan free. The media were no better either, fighting with security to get to the melee. The lack of focus around that area regarding FIFA officials, security and police was shocking to witness. Luckily it was only a brawl and not something more serious. I feel for the Chile squad, but they have no one to blame but themselves for the loss and the aftermath. This from someone is nuetral towards both teams.
Redmond, 2007-07-20 15:31:01

Its sad when a ref taints the game. Stark wanted to be the star of the game but he is a disgrace. The police did not allow the players to thank their fans and sign autographs. The police did not handle the situation well. They should of understood the emotional mind set of the players who did not get a fair deal during a lobsided game.
Paul, 2007-07-20 15:16:38

...when the cops tell you to move on or stay back-do it! Pretty simple concept-great way to avoid being beaten or tasered...I suspect that Chileans would receive far worse in their home country if they became aggressive with their police...
Steve, 2007-07-20 15:13:01

I am chilean and of course I watched the match last night. I really feel disappointed for what happened just because I thought that canadians was friendly and part of "the first world". I was wrong, you treat our soccer representative like killers. Thank you for that and I hope Canada never organizate a world cup again.

I am sure that my "third world opinion" doesn't care to you, but at least the world will judge the violent behavior that your police had tonight
Pato, 2007-07-20 15:09:09

It's hard to say without seeing the incident or the alleged video, but what's more likely.

1. Toronto Police decide they want to start trouble and pick on this particular team.

2. A player from the losing team overreacts when he doesn't like being escorted to the team bus.

I'm betting it's #2, with some adrenaline, cultural and language issues to bring it up a notch.
Matt, 2007-07-20 15:07:35

I attended the Canada vs. Chile game and was amazed by the disgusting comments I heard about Canada, on Canada Day no less! It was not just one isolated incident. It seems to me that many of these fans need to understand how lucky they are to have access to good health care, and SAFE communities to live in. Absolutely disgraceful, and I hope Chile are banned from the third place match! Blind nationalism has no place in North American soccer.

Greg, 2007-07-20 15:03:53

One thing no one is mentioning here is that tournaments such as this rely heavily on Nationalism, which is a very dangerous thing. I attended the Canada vs. Chile game, and I could not believe the insulting things I heard said about the host country, on Canada Day no less!

Greg, 2007-07-20 14:58:06

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