Toronto Police and Chilean Soccer Players Brawl
Those who watched last night's semi-final game between rivals Argentina and Chile in the FIFA under-20 tournament, regardless of their loyalties to any teams or players, would likely agree - the officiating was nothing less than brutal. The German referee was passing out yellow and red cards like coupons for free vacations that were about to expire, and the game play was affected.
Soccer fans at Toronto's BMO field were riled up with anger and disbelief, but when the same emotions began appearing on the field in the faces and actions of the Chilean players we knew that tensions were boiling. At one point, Toronto police officers had to come onto the field to settle the steaming Chilean players and staff down, as they approached the game officials en masse.
But it's what happened after the game that's making international headlines and putting our police force under close scrutiny. Accusations that Toronto police used excessive force are buzzing about. Early reports suggest that billy clubs, tazers, and pepper spray were used, and blood was spilled in violent clashes between the Chilean team and police. As many as 9 players were arrested and later released. It's a real shame, and it looks really bad on all involved.
More news is sure to follow, but here's what we know so far:
[CBC Newsworld clip - runs 5mins]
FIFA will hold a press conference later today.
And here's what they're saying on Chile's National TV network:
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