Chile Suspends Bolivia Friendly Amid Violent Social Unrest

Channels Television  
Updated November 5, 2019
Riot police are reached by a petrol bomb during clashes with demonstrators protesting against the economic policies of the government of President Sebastian Pinera, in Santiago, on November 4, 2019. CLAUDIO REYES / AFP


Chile has cancelled a friendly match with Bolivia scheduled for later this month after weeks of violent social unrest, the South American country’s football association announced on Tuesday.

FA president Sebastian Moreno told reporters that the match, set for November 15, has been cancelled but added that the team’s game with Peru in Lima would go ahead.

A wave of anti-government anger has swept Chile, one of Latin America’s most prosperous countries, and protests entered their third week on Monday as people vent their frustrations over cost of living and pensions.

They are demanding the resignation of billionaire President Sebastian Pinera, who said in an interview with the BBC on Tuesday that he will not step down.

Protesters clashed with police and looted stores Monday at the close of a huge rally in Chile’s capital Santiago that saw demonstrators try to march on the presidential palace.

Fights broke out with police trying to contain them, with officers firing water cannons and tear gas. One officer was hit in the face with a Molotov cocktail.

Last week Chile pulled out of hosting the November 16-17 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, and the December 2-13 COP 25 climate convention.

The unrest has also led to CONMEBOL, the South American football authority, to wonder whether capital city Santiago — the epicentre of the protests — is capable of hosting the Copa Libertadores final on November 23.