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In Chile, professional footballers’ association SIFUP has launched a campaign against violence, called De Espaldas a la Violencia (Turn your back on violence). Players from the country’s first and second division are participating in this campaign.

 

SIFUP and the players are very concerned about the safety of the players. Since February there have been four incidents of violence against players.

  • 10 February: hooligans of Universidad de Chile throw and aim their fireworks at the players of Iquique. The referee has to suspend the match for 50 minutes.
  • 9 April: Colo Colo player Carlos Muñoz is threatened by the chairman and some other members of the official Colo Colo supporters’ club, Garra Blanca.
  • 15 April: Nublense fans attack the Curico Unido team bus. Player Ariel Pereira is hit in his face by a stone thrown by hooligans.
  • 1 May: Colo Colo hooligans invade the main field of Estadio Monumental and disturb the training session of their club.

 

 

Two weeks ago, the campaign started during the match between Colo Colo and Universidad de Chile: two of the country’s biggest clubs playing the most important match of the season. All players took the field wearing a shirt that had the name of the SIFUP campaign on the back: De Espaldas a la Violencia.

 

Last week, the campaign continued with all players from all clubs in the Chilean First Division participating and wearing the campaign shirt. This weekend all players in the Second Division wore the same shirt.

 

‘What is very important for SIFUP, is that all players are showing their commitment to SIFUP and their support to this campaign’, said union spokesman Patricio Jorquera. ‘We want the government and the clubs to take the appropriate actions to help guarantee the safety of the players in Chile.’

 

 

 

 

 

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