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Friendly refusal ups the ante for Chile players

Friendly refusal ups the ante for Chile players

14.11.2019

Friendly refusal ups the ante for Chile players

(Reuters) - Football has long mixed with politics in South America but the refusal of Chilean players to play a friendly against Peru in sympathy with anti-government protesters has taken action and awareness to a new level.

Millions of Chileans have taken to the streets, with at least 23 people killed and thousands hospitalised after clashes with police and army.

A portion of the country’s National stadium is fenced off as a permanent reminder of the people detained and tortured there by Pinochet’s soldiers in the 1970s.

"Chile played here in the 1983 Copa America in the midst of huge protests against Pinochet," Danilo Diaz, a columnist with the El Mercurio newspaper, told Reuters."If they played then I can’t see why it is a problem to play now.

The players posed ahead of the first match holding a small poster that read"Chilean democracy tortures, rapes, maims and kills its citizens. (President) Pinera out".

"So far 23 people have died and it could be 24 by next week. They could have told the Peruvian players and the referee, we’ll stop the game in the 24th minute in tribute to those who died. That would have made headlines around the world."

Read more: The Star

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