Monday, August 2

Copa América: Chile’s national team breaks the health bubble hours before facing Uruguay | America’s Soccer Cup 2021


Benjamin Brereton hugs Arturo Vidal, in the match between Chile and Bolivia, in the Copa América.
Benjamin Brereton hugs Arturo Vidal, in the match between Chile and Bolivia, in the Copa América.SEBASTIAO MOREIRA / EFE

The Chilean team skipped the sanitary protocols in the Copa América. The Chilean Federation and the coaching staff admitted that the soccer players broke with the guidelines in the health bubble less than 24 hours after facing Uruguay this Monday. A hairdresser entered the concentration hotel in the Brazilian city of Cuiabá, according to Chilean soccer authorities. The players involved, whose names were omitted, will be sanctioned by their federation and also by Conmebol. Brazil faces a third wave of COVID-19 infections and has already exceeded half a million deaths.

The Chilean team postponed training this Saturday and Sunday. The fact that they did not train the first day was for “protection, being clear about the issue of negative PCRs and we decided to work individually within the hotel,” explained Captain Claudio Bravo. The press conference prior to the game against the Uruguayans was rescheduled from noon to night. “It bothered me just enough. One considers that it was a mistake, that’s it. It is a situation that can be solved ”, said the coach who was put out of the team by the local press after the behavior of his players. “I feel supported by the Chilean Federation, there is no reason to think otherwise,” he added.

There was tension in the Chilean team. Given the confusion and lack of information from the Chilean authorities, the version circulated that the footballers had held a private party at the hotel. Lasarte, in a press conference, denied that this had happened and assured that only one stylist entered. The Chilean Federation reported that the hairdresser had a negative PCR test. Conmebol can fine footballers from $ 15,000 to $ 30,000. In the Copa América, more than 80 cases of covid-19 have been registered, according to the Brazilian Ministry of Health.

Before all the confusion in the Red, Lasarte announced that he will contemplate all the players for the game against Uruguay, with the exception of the injured Alexis Sánchez. “The dimension of the error is serious, something that could be solved with greater peace of mind. You have to pass that, there is no more. There is a learning of things, “added the coach. “Acts of indiscipline are in life in general, one is always prone to making mistakes,” said Bravo.

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The controversy is already an episode lived in Chile. Arturo Vidal, in the 2015 Copa América, crashed his Ferrari hours after his country debuted in the tournament. Carabineros arrested Vidal and detected that he had driven drunk. The midfielder tearfully apologized and the then coach, Jorge Sampaoli, kept him on the squad that would end up winning the tournament.

A few days ago, the Chilean team took to the field with a uniform with patches. The National Association of Professional Soccer and Nike broke relations due to the non-payment of the American company. According to the Red authorities, the firm unilaterally broke the contract. The dispute between the sports brand and Chilean soccer will be decided in the Court of the Chamber of Commerce, in New York.

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