~ Two weeks after the Chilean military coup of September 11, 1973, the national team drew 0-0 away to the USSR in the first leg of a World Cup qualifying play-off. The Soviets withdrew from the return on the grounds that the national stadium in Santiago had been used as an internment camp for political prisoners. FIFA required Chile to simply turn up for the second match, with the team walking the ball into an unguarded goal.
The Chilean captain, midfielder Francisco Valdez, and the team’s star player, winger Carlos Caszely, subsequently made their own protests against the new government of General Pinochet. Valdez announced that he would not take part in the World Cup unless the squad’s doctor, a known opponent of the regime, was allowed to remain free. At a reception for the team before the return leg, Caszely wore a red bandana, the symbol of the newly banned trade union federation, while standing in line to meet Pinochet. Both went on to play at the World Cup with Caszely also featuring in three games at Spain 82.
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A World Cup storyby Richard Gordon Black and White, £11.99Reviewed by Archie MacGregorFrom WSC 332 October 2014
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