SANTIAGO: Chilean side Deportes Antofagasta travelled 1,500 km to play a league match on Saturday, only to be told at the stadium that the game had been called off because of a positive COVID-19 test amongst the staff of opponents Colo Colo.
The Chilean league said in a statement that the case was detected on Friday among the Colo Colo delegation which had travelled to Brazil for a Copa Libertadores match.
It said that more time was needed for further investigations, even though the players had tested negative.
“I’m disappointed with what happened,” Antofagasta’s sporting director Victor Oyarzun told reporters, adding that the club had planned the trip to Santiago, where Colo Colo are based, several weeks ago.
“They didn’t let us into the dressing room area and we waited for half an hour for the official notification.
“It’s not right that you travel nearly 1,500 kilometres and one hour before they tell you the match is suspended for an alleged positive case, which is not even a player.”
The club said they would demand that Colo Colo forfeit the game, and there was widespread criticism on social media for the way the league and Colo Colo had handled the situation.
Colo Colo said they regretted the inconvenience suffered by their opponents and had followed health protocols.
Colo Colo are Chile’s most successful club with 32 league titles but are currently 17th in the 18-team championship and in danger of a first-ever relegation.
(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris)