Players 'treated like animals'

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:24 AM ET

Isaias Peralta has two welt marks near his ribs, painful souvenirs of his alleged run-in with a police stungun.

The Chilean player, who was part of the ugly melee with Toronto cops at National Soccer Stadium Thursday night, told a Santiago-based newspaper yesterday he and his teammates were "treated like animals."

"They gave me electric shocks," he said. "I fainted and when I regained consciousness I saw that 10 police officers were hitting me and throwing acid on my face."

'WORST THING'

There are those who strongly dispute Chile's allegations that the police acted irresponsibly.

A source with the company that provided the bus for the Chilean team said the conduct of the Chile players "was the worst thing I've seen in 17 years."

Joseph Blatter, president of FIFA, was doing his best spin-doctoring yesterday, claiming his organization will look into the conduct of Chilean players who attempted to swarm referee Wolfgang Stark during and after their 3-0 semi-final loss to Argentina.

At the same time, FIFA is passing the buck to the Canadian Soccer Association when it comes to the Chilean run-in with the cops. Blatter said the CSA will investigate the incident, then report to FIFA with the findings.

'QUESTION OF SECURITY'

"This is a question of security. This is not a matter of football. This is a matter of the local authorities," Blatter said, adding that the bronze-medal game between Chile and Austria will go on as planned tomorrow.

CSA officials will huddle today in order to make certain security measures are up to snuff for tomorrow's games.

Blatter said he told Mayor David Miller that the incidents Thursday night "were regrettable."

"But this is not the end of football, it is not the end of Toronto and it is not the end of Canada," he added.


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