Firework hits player, forcing abandonment of Chilean derby

Chilean football has been hit by its second serious incident in this month after supporter unrest caused the abandonment of the Santiago derby between Colo Colo and Universidad Catolica. — AFP pic
Chilean football has been hit by its second serious incident in this month after supporter unrest caused the abandonment of the Santiago derby between Colo Colo and Universidad Catolica. — AFP pic

SANTIAGO, Feb 17 — Chilean football has been hit by its second serious incident in this month after supporter unrest caused the abandonment of the Santiago derby between Colo Colo and Universidad Catolica.

Fans threw fireworks and missiles onto the pitch in yesterday’s game, and Colo Colo striker Nicholas Blandi went down clutching his ears after one explosive device exploded at his feet.

Video showed a clearly disorientated Blandi limping off the field and receiving treatment and the referee removed the players and abandoned the match moments later.

There were 19 minutes of the game remaining. Universidad Catolica were winning 2-0 at the time.

“Clearly, there was security lapse,” said Harold Mayne-Nicholls, Colo Colo’s executive vice-president. “We will try to identify those involved and hopefully they will never come to the stadium again.”

Fans at the capital’s National stadium set parts of the terraces alight and threw objects at police during the February 4 game against Universidad de Chile and Brazilian club Internacional.

Chile had been beset by civil unrest in recent months as people angry at inequality and substandard social services protest against the government of Sebastian Pinera. — Reuters

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