Venezuelan Fans Embarrass Hugo… Chant "Freedom" at US Match (Video)
UPDATE: Sure enough…
YouTube has the video of Venezuelan fans shouting “LIBERTADDDDDDDDDDDDD” at the US soccer match in Maracaibo, Venezuela last night:
Noticiero Digital has more video clips from the stadium seats!
The stadium erupted in Maracaibo, Venezuela during the US match on Thursday at the Copa America tournament that is being held in Venezuela.
About half of the stadium’s fans stood and shouted anti-Chavez slogans during the US match with Argentina in Maracaibo.
Aireal view of Match 5 of the Copa America 2007 soccer tournament between Colombia and Paraguay in Maracaibo June 28, 2007. (REUTERS/Isaac Urrutia)
Venezuelan soccer fans rose to their feet and shouted, “This government is going to fail!” and “Freedom!” during the US soccer match in Maracaibo, Venezuela last night.
The International Herald Tribune reported:
Politics penetrated a South American soccer championship when thousands of Venezuelan soccer fans rose to their feet and loudly chanted “Freedom!” in a clear affront to President Hugo Chavez.
The chants — which included “This government is going to fall!” — began shortly into the second half of Thursday’s match between the U.S. and Argentina in the western city of Maracaibo, a stronghold of opposition to Chavez.
Chavez opponents are hoping the arrival of thousands of tourists for the Copa America tournament will draw attention to their protests against the president’s refusal to renew the license of a popular opposition-aligned television channel.
“We want the world to know we’re not all with Chavez,” said Gabriel Gonzalez, a business student at the University of Zulia, who attended Thursday’s match.
About half the crowd of 40,000 appeared to join in the chants, which filled the stadium for about three minutes…
The chants on Thursday followed a heckling incident two days earlier, when a small number of fans booed Chavez as he attended a ceremony. But none of that has detracted much from the tournament.
Players (front row L-R) Marvell Wynne, Benny Feilhaber, Jonathan Bornstein, Ben Olsen, Ricardo Clark, Taylor Twellman, (top row L-R) Justin Mapp, Jay DeMerit, Eddie Johnson, Jimmy Conrad and Kasey Keller of the U.S. pose before playing against Argentina in Match 6 of the Copa America Venezuela 2007 soccer tournament in Maracaibo June 28, 2007. (REUTERS/Jorge Adorno)
Monsters and Critics has more on the Copa America protest:
About the 60th minute of the game, a large number of the 42,000people in the stands Thursday in Maracaibo started to shout, ‘RCTV, RCTV!’ in reference to the popular, pro-opposition television channel that was forced off the air a month ago after Chavez’s government refused to renew its broadcasting licence.
‘Freedom, freedom!’ followed, and it gave way to the more concrete, ‘It’s going to fall! It’s going to fall. This government is going to fall!’
Shouts persisted for three to four minutes and returned at the end of the game, which Argentina won 4-1.
The Sporting News even has a report on the protest.
Venezuela News & Views has more soccer news.