Calls for silent celebration
Chile’s team and fans were encouraged not to celebrate their first goal in yesterday’s World Cup qualifier against Venezuela in memory of thousands who were tortured 40 years ago at the match’s venue. Days after a military coup on Sept. 11, 1973, around 12,000 suspected leftists were rounded up and herded into the National Stadium, which was used as an interrogation and torture center. The viral campaign, #goldesilencio (silent goal), which quickly trended on Twitter, was run by human rights campaigners Amnesty International. A video used footage of the time with words superimposed saying: “To all Chile’s players we want to ask that when the first goal arrives — don’t shout. Keep down in your throat that shout that comes from the soul. Squeeze your fist so your hand doesn’t raise to the sky. And if you really want to celebrate, make the stadium quiet.”
Wales boss misses flight
Wales manager Chris Coleman was late arriving in Macedonia for yesterday’s World Cup qualifier between the countries due to what the Football Association of Wales (FAW) described as “a passport issue.” The delay meant that Coleman missed both the pre-game press conference and final training session, with assistant coach Kit Symons reported to be set to step in for him at the Phillip II Arena in Skopje. “Manager Chris Coleman will arrive in Skopje later tonight [Thursday] after a passport issue delayed his departure from Cardiff,” read a statement on the FAW Twitter feed. Coleman’s assistant Kit Symons fulfilled Wales’ pre-match press obligations and he played down the incident. Symons and the Welsh FA refused to clarify what had caused Coleman to be delayed, but it is understood he lost his passport and, having obtained a replacement, was travelling from London Heathrow to Skopje via Vienna.
Aussie plays down comment
Socceroo Archie Thompson has made light of his comment that Brazilian Neymar, who recently moved to Barcelona for US$74 million, was overrated, putting the remark down to jetlag or mistranslation. Australia take on the 2014 World Cup hosts in a friendly in Brasilia today and Thompson livened up pre-match exchanges by saying he thought Neymar was overrated and his teammate Oscar was a better player. Forward Neymar responded to the Melbourne Victory striker in a news conference with the withering question: “What’s his name?” according to Brazilian media reports. “It was the jetlag or the Brazilian reporter didn’t understand my Portuguese,” New Zealand-born Thompson quipped in a Tweet from Brasilia on Thursday.
Player appeals biting ban
An Australian player in South Africa is appealing his seven-game ban for biting, saying he sunk his teeth into an opponent’s arm by mistake because he had his mouth open while scoring a try. The South African Rugby Union said Griquas lock Rory Arnold’s appeal would be heard yesterday. He was banned until after Oct. 19, ruling him out of the rest of the regular season in the Currie Cup. Arnold was sent off straight after scoring and following a television review prompted by complaints from Cheetahs hooker Ethienne Reynecke, who showed bite marks on his arm to the referee. In his initial disciplinary hearing on Tuesday, Arnold said he crossed the tryline with his mouth open and pressure from a tackle forced his head down onto Reynecke’s forearm.