Soccer suspended in Chile for violent protests


A match of the first division of Chilean soccer which was played in Santiago at the restart of the local tournament was suspended on Friday after a group of hooded men entered the stadium violently, in the middle of the wave of protests that has shaken the country for more than a month.

The tournament was halted since mid-October, when the strong mobilizations that led to the government of Chile to decree State of Emergency for several days in Santiago and much of the country.

Local leaders hoped that the football activity could be resumed as of Friday, but the "brave bars" of the larger teams are opposed to its restart. The match between Union La Calera and Sports Iquique It was played at the La Florida stadium, in the southeast of Santiago.

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"Unfortunately we are going to have to suspend this game. The most important thing is to protect the safety of the players," Sebastian Moreno, president of the National Association of Professional Soccer (ANFP), told reporters.

After the incidents, in which the hooded men even reached the court, forcing the players to take shelter in the locker room, the football union called for suspending all the matches.

"We have told our partners not to travel to their respective parties. There is no security. Today they were overwhelmed by a minority group," said the president of the union, Gamadiel Garcia, quoted in the local press.

However, the day continued to be played shortly after with the meeting between Cobresal and Union Espanola, in the northern city of El Salvador.

On Saturday, Colo Colo, the most popular team in the country, is scheduled to play at the Monumental Stadium in Santiago, while Sunday is scheduled to meet between the University of Chile, another of the big clubs, and Huachipato in the southern city of Talcahuano

The social mobilizations in Chile, the largest since the return to democracy almost 30 years ago, have left more than 20 dead, thousands injured and detained.

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