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Uruguay, Chile set for high-stakes Copa America clash

Uruguay, Chile set for high-stakes Copa America clash

RIO DE JANEIRO: Fireworks could be in store when reigning champions Chile and record 15-time winners Uruguay meet in the Copa America on Monday at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium. It will be the fourth edition running of the oldest continental competition in international football in which the South American rivals meet and memories are still fresh of the controversy surrounding their stormy 2015 clash.

Uruguay, then the reigning champions, finished the quarter-final encounter in Santiago with nine men after Edinson Cavani and Jorge Fucile were given their marching orders in a 1-0 defeat. Cavani’s dismissal was the most controversial as he received a second yellow card just after the hour mark for flicking a hand into Chile defender Gonzalo Jara’s face.

Cavani, though, was left incensed as Jara had appeared to shove a finger up the forward’s backside prior to his reaction, and his misdemeanour went unpunished. Uruguay defended doggedly after that but fell to a Mauricio Isla winner 10 minutes from time. And tempers boiled over in the final minute when Fucile was given his marching orders, sparking a mass confrontation involving players and officials from both sides.

Cavani and Jara were both hit with two-game bans over the earlier incident while Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez, who entered the field during the late melee, was suspended for three matches for insulting the referee. It wasn’t the first time that Jara had been involved in a controversial sexual assault on a Uruguay player.

In 2013, he and Luis Suarez had a running battle on the pitch in a World Cup qualifier that reached its zenith when Jara touched the Uruguay forward’s testicles, and received a retaliatory punch for his troubles. Jara may not be able to spark a ruckus this time around, though, as the 33-year-old is no longer a regular starter.

Article source: https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/489018-uruguay-chile-set-for-high-stakes-copa-america-clash

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