Friday, July 20, 2007

Football players go

Defending Champion Argentina moved within one win of a sixth under-20 title Thursday, defeating a stubborn Chilean side 3-0 in an ill-tempered semifinal that ended with Chile having just nine men on the field, the officiating crew making a run for the tunnel and a major melee with police outside the Chile team bus. The hostility carried on after the game with witnesses saying a Chilean team member was subdued by taser after a scuffle with police at the team bus outside the stadium. The incident started with police looking to establish order and apparently escalated into a real ruckus when Chilean players tumbled out of the bus after seeing one of their own tangling with police. Security blocked off the area, keeping reporters away from the scene. Some half-dozen Chilean team members, some handcuffed and a few bleeding from the face, were taken back to a dressing room with FIFA and tournament officials coming and going, according to a witness.

If this is football’s way of trying to compete with its American counterpart, it has a long way to go. I mean, a scuffle with police and a tasering is so passé. The only hope this sport has of getting any air time this summer is if we see Argentina eating some endangered leopard and picking the remains out of their teeth with some ivory elephant tusks at their celebration dinner. And even then, unless they are having Inca babies for dessert, people probably still will won’t care.

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