SANTIAGO – The football match between Colo-Colo and Universidad Católica was suspended on Sunday, Feb. 16. This occurred when fireworks were launched onto the field injuring a player. Thereafter, the football player syndicate criticized those responsible as well as the lack of security at the match.
On Sunday, Feb. 16, the football match between Colo-Colo and Universidad Católica was interrupted by fireworks at about the 70-minute mark—and this even though only Colo-Colo fans were allowed to enter the stadium because it was believed that allowing both teams’ fans to enter would result in violence.
The fireworks were launched from the gallery out onto the field where they exploded in front of Nicolás Blandi, a Colo-Colo player. He ended up with burns on his thighs and auditory trauma.
In response, the referee suspended the match and sent the players to their locker rooms. The fireworks were not the first items to hit the field: spectators previously threw cell phones and even a house phone onto the field. Under the National Association of Professional Football rules, the officials now have 72 hours from the suspension within which to decide what to do about the match.
After the suspension, verbal fireworks lit up social media, with the Professional Football Players of Chile Syndicate blaming both the “misfits” responsible for lighting the fireworks and the authorities of the Metropolitan Region of Santiago for authorizing fireworks (albeit outside the match) in the first place.
Conociendo en camarines el estado de salud de Blandi; inaceptable la violencia de estos inadaptados, así como la pésima decisión de la autoridad @IntendenciaRM y Estadio Seguro de autorizar fuegos de artificios en un partido como éste (aunque sea exterior) y no público visitante pic.twitter.com/nwabDWokyd
— Sifup Chile (@sifup) February 16, 2020
Violence in the Stadiums
Football fans have been under scrutiny lately due to their violent behavior and their role in the social protests that have shaken the country—in some instances, they even took over the field and prevented matches from taking place during the early days of the protests.
After the recent death of a Colo-Colo fan, many national teams banded together as a show of support and to vent their anger that the police officer responsible for the death was not punished, and, instead, the judge justified his actions due to Colo-Colo’s history of violence.
Diego Rivera is currently a senior in University, finishing up his audiovisual degree. You can find him on Twitter as @Piover45.