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2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup
FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007

2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup official logo
Tournament details
Host country  Canada
Dates June 30 – July 22
Teams 24 (from 6 confederations)
Venue(s) (in 6 host cities)
Final positions
Champions  Argentina (6th title)
Runner-up  Czech Republic
Third place  Chile
Fourth place  Austria
Tournament statistics
Matches played 52
Goals scored 135 (2.6 per match)
Attendance 1,195,299 (22,987 per match)
Top scorer(s) Argentina Sergio Agüero (6 goals)
Best player Argentina Sergio Agüero
2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup final rankings.

The 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup was the sixteenth edition of the FIFA U-20 World Cup (formerly called FIFA World Youth Championship), hosted by Canada from June 30 to July 22, 2007. Argentina defeated Czech Republic in the title game by the score of 2–1, thus managing a back-to-back world title, its fifth in the past seven editions, and sixth overall. Argentine player Sergio Agüero was given the FIFA U-20 Golden Shoe (top scorer with 6 goals) and the FIFA U-20 Golden Ball (best player of the tournament), while Japan earned the FIFA Fair Play Award.

The tournament featured 24 teams coming from six continental confederations; Canada qualified automatically as hosts, while the remaining teams qualified based on their rankings at the respective continental U-20 (U-19 in Europe's case) tournaments. UEFA (Europe) qualified six teams; AFC (Asia), CAF (Africa), CONCACAF (North, Central America & Caribbean) and CONMEBOL (South America) four teams each; and OFC (Oceania) one team.

The tournament took place in a variety of venues across the country — Toronto, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Victoria, and Burnaby (Vancouver) — with the showcase stadium being Toronto's new National Soccer Stadium[1] where the final match was held.

On June 28, 2007, two days before the inaugural match, it was reported that 950,000 tickets had been sold,[2] making it the largest single-sport event ever taking place in the country,[3] and on July 3, the tournament organisers sold the one millionth ticket.[4] On July 19, the semifinal match between Chile and Argentina marked this edition as the most attended in the tournament's history, with an accumulated attendance of 1,156,187 spectators, surpassing Mexico 1983's 1,155,160 spectators.[5] Final attendance totalled 1,195,299.

Contents

Venues

2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup venues.svg Victoria Burnaby Edmonton
Royal Athletic Park Swangard Stadium Commonwealth Stadium
Capacity: 14,500 Capacity: 10,000 Capacity: 60,081
Royal Athletic Park Victoria.jpg Swangard stadium Burnaby.jpg Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, August 2005.jpg
Toronto Ottawa Montreal
National Soccer Stadium Frank Clair Stadium Olympic Stadium
Capacity: 20,195 Capacity: 26,559 Capacity: 65,255
West-stand-bmo-field.jpg Lansdowne Park 3.jpg Olympiastadion Montreal.jpg

Qualification

Twenty-three teams qualified for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup. As the host team, Canada received an automatic bid, bringing the total number of teams to twenty-four for the tournament. The draw for the group stages took place on March 3, 2007 in Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex, Toronto.

Confederation Qualifying Tournament Qualifier(s)
AFC (Asia) AFC Youth Championship 2006  Japan
 Jordan
 Korea Republic
 Korea DPR
CAF (Africa) 2007 African Youth Championship  Congo
 Gambia
 Nigeria
 Zambia
CONCACAF
(North, Central America & Caribbean)
2007 CONCACAF U20 Tournament  Costa Rica
 Mexico
 Panama
 United States
CONMEBOL (South America) 2007 South American Youth Championship  Argentina
 Brazil
 Chile
 Uruguay
OFC (Oceania) 2007 OFC U20 Tournament  New Zealand
UEFA (Europe) 2006 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship  Austria
 Czech Republic
 Poland
 Portugal
 Scotland
 Spain
Host nation  Canada

Squads

For a list of the squads see 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup squads

Group stage

Czech Republic vs. DPR Korea at Frank Clair Stadium in Ottawa on July 3, 2007

The 24 participating teams were distributed between six groups of four teams each, according to a draw held on March 3, 2007. The groups are contested on a league system, where each team plays one time against the other teams in the same group, for a total of six matches per group. Each group winner and runner-up teams, as well as the best four third-placed teams, qualify for the first round of the knockout stage (round of 16).

Key
   Teams that have qualified to the knockout stage as group winner or runner-up.
   Teams that have qualified to the knockout stage as one of the four best third-placed.
   Teams knocked out at group stage.
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Group A

Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
 Chile 7 3 2 1 0 6 0 +6
 Austria 5 3 1 2 0 2 1 +1
 Congo 4 3 1 1 1 3 4 −1
 Canada 0 3 0 0 3 0 6 −6
July 1, 2007
19:45 EDT
23:45 UTC
Canada  0 – 3  Chile National Soccer Stadium, Toronto
Attendance: 20,195
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco Spain (ESP)
Report Medina Goal 25'
Carmona Goal 54'
Grondona Goal 81'

July 2, 2007
17:45 MDT
23:45 UTC
Congo  1 – 1  Austria Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton
Attendance: 19,899
Referee: Enrico Wijngaarde Suriname (SUR)
Ibara Goal 59' (pen.) Report Hoffer Goal 7'

July 5, 2007
17:45 MDT
23:45 UTC
Austria  1 – 0  Canada Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton
Attendance: 31,579
Referee: Hernando Buitrago Colombia (COL)
Okotie Goal 47' Report

July 5, 2007
20:30 MDT
02:30 UTC
Chile  3 – 0  Congo Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton
Attendance: 30,352
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov Uzbekistan (UZB)
Sánchez Goal 49'
Medina Goal 75'
Vidal Goal 82'
Report

July 8, 2007
18:00 MDT
00:00 UTC
Canada  0 – 2  Congo Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton
Attendance: 32,058
Referee: Howard Webb England (ENG)
Report Ngakosso Goal 26'
Ikouma Goal 60'

July 8, 2007
20:00 EDT
00:00 UTC
Chile  0 – 0  Austria National Soccer Stadium, Toronto
Attendance: 19,526
Referee: Joel Aguilar El Salvador (SLV)
Report

Group B

Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
 Spain 7 3 2 1 0 8 5 +3
 Zambia 4 3 1 1 1 4 3 +1
 Uruguay 4 3 1 1 1 3 4 −1
 Jordan 1 3 0 1 2 3 6 −3
July 1, 2007
14:15 PDT
21:15 UTC
Jordan  1 – 1  Zambia Swangard Stadium, Burnaby
Attendance: 10,000
Referee: Terry Vaughn United States (USA)
Salim Goal 41' Report Tembo Goal 8' (pen.)

July 1, 2007
17:00 PDT
00:00 UTC
Spain  2 – 2  Uruguay Swangard Stadium, Burnaby
Attendance: 10,000
Referee: Wolfgang Stark Germany (GER)
Adrián López Goal 71'
Capel Goal 90+3'
Report Cavani Goal 47'
Suárez Goal 56'

July 4, 2007
17:00 PDT
00:00 UTC
Uruguay  1 – 0  Jordan Swangard Stadium, Burnaby
Attendance: 10,000
Referee: Peter O'Leary New Zealand (NZL)
Cavani Goal 40' Report

July 4, 2007
19:45 PDT
02:45 UTC
Zambia  1 – 2  Spain Swangard Stadium, Burnaby
Attendance: 10,000
Referee: German Arredondo Mexico (MEX)
Njobvu Goal 74' Report Mario Suárez Goal 30' (pen.)
Mata Goal 40'

July 7, 2007
14:15 PDT
21:15 UTC
Spain  4 – 2  Jordan Swangard Stadium, Burnaby
Attendance: 10,000
Referee: Hernando Buitrago Colombia (COL)
Adrián López Goal 29'Goal 32'Goal 38'
Marquitos Goal 79'
Report Al Zaideh Goal 48'
Salim Goal 56'

July 7, 2007
14:15 PDT
21:15 UTC
Uruguay  0 – 2  Zambia Royal Athletic Park, Victoria
Attendance: 11,500
Referee: Martin Hansson Sweden (SWE)
Report Mulenga Goal 22' (pen.)
Kola Goal 51'

Group C

Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
 Mexico 9 3 3 0 0 7 2 +5
 Gambia 6 3 2 0 1 3 4 −1
 Portugal 3 3 1 0 2 4 4 0
 New Zealand 0 3 0 0 3 1 5 −4
July 2, 2007
14:15 EDT
18:15 UTC
Portugal  2 – 0  New Zealand National Soccer Stadium, Toronto
Attendance: 19,526
Referee: Hernando Buitrago Colombia (COL)
Gama Goal 45' Goal 61' (pen.) Report

July 2, 2007
17:00 EDT
21:00 UTC
Gambia  0 – 3  Mexico National Soccer Stadium, Toronto
Attendance: 19,526
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov Uzbekistan (UZB)
Report Giovani Goal 57'
Moreno Goal 67'
Javier Hernández Goal 89'

July 5, 2007
17:00 EDT
21:00 UTC
New Zealand  0 – 1  Gambia National Soccer Stadium, Toronto
Attendance: 11,869
Referee: Joel Aguilar El Salvador (SLV)
Report Jallow Goal 22'

July 5, 2007
19:45 EDT
23:45 UTC
Mexico  2 – 1  Portugal National Soccer Stadium, Toronto
Attendance: 19,526
Referee: Howard Webb England (ENG)
Giovani Goal 48' (pen.)
Barrera Goal 66'
Report Antunes Goal 89'

July 8, 2007
17:15 EDT
21:15 UTC
Portugal  1 – 2  Gambia Olympic Stadium, Montreal
Attendance: 28,402
Referee: Wolfgang Stark Germany (GER)
Condesso Goal 20' Report Jallow Goal 44' (pen.)
Mansally Goal 68'

July 8, 2007
15:15 MDT
21:15 UTC
New Zealand  1 – 2  Mexico Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton
Attendance: 29,792
Referee: Mohamed Benouza Algeria (ALG)
Pelter Goal 89' Report Bermudez Goal 24'
Mares Goal 78'

Group D

Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
 United States 7 3 2 1 0 9 3 +6
 Poland 4 3 1 1 1 3 7 –4
 Brazil 3 3 1 0 2 4 5 −1
 Korea Republic 2 3 0 2 1 4 5 −1
June 30, 2007
14:15 EDT
18:15 UTC
Poland  1 – 0  Brazil Olympic Stadium, Montréal
Attendance: 55,800
Referee: Howard Webb England (ENG)
Krychowiak Goal 23' Report

June 30, 2007
17:00 EDT
21:00 UTC
Korea Republic  1 – 1  United States Olympic Stadium, Montréal
Attendance: 55,800
Referee: Joel Aguilar El Salvador (SLV)
Shin Goal 38' Report Szetela Goal 17'

July 3, 2007
17:00 EDT
21:00 UTC
United States  6 – 1  Poland Olympic Stadium, Montréal
Attendance: 35,801
Referee: Martin Hansson Sweden (SWE)
Szetela Goal 9' Goal 51'
Adu Goal 20'Goal 45+3' Goal 85'
Altidore Goal 70'
Report Janczyk Goal 5'

July 3, 2007
19:45 EDT
23:45 UTC
Brazil  3 – 2  Korea Republic Olympic Stadium, Montréal
Attendance: 35,801
Referee: Viktor Kassai Hungary (HUN)
Amaral Goal 35'
Pato Goal 48' Goal 59'
Report Shim Goal 83'
Shin Goal 89'

July 6, 2007
19:45 EDT
23:45 UTC
Brazil  1 – 2  United States Frank Clair Stadium, Ottawa
Attendance: 26,559
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco Spain (ESP)
Lima Goal 64' Report Altidore Goal 25' Goal 81'

July 6, 2007
19:45 EDT
23:45 UTC
Poland  1 – 1  Korea Republic Olympic Stadium, Montréal
Attendance: 34,912
Referee: Enrico Wijngaarde Suriname (SUR)
Janczyk Goal 45' Report Lee Goal 71'

Group E

Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
 Argentina 7 3 2 1 0 7 0 +7
 Czech Republic 5 3 1 2 0 4 3 +1
 Korea DPR 2 3 0 2 1 2 3 −1
 Panama 1 3 0 1 2 1 8 –7
June 30, 2007
16:30 EDT
20:30 UTC
Korea DPR  0 – 0  Panama Frank Clair Stadium, Ottawa
Attendance: 26,559
Referee: Mohamed Benouza Algeria (ALG)
Report

June 30, 2007
19:15 EDT
23:15 UTC
Argentina  0 – 0  Czech Republic Frank Clair Stadium, Ottawa
Attendance: 26,559
Referee: Martin Hansson Sweden (SWE)
Report

July 3, 2007
17:00 EDT
21:00 UTC
Czech Republic  2 – 2  Korea DPR Frank Clair Stadium, Ottawa
Attendance: 22,200
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco Spain (ESP)
Kalouda Goal 56'
Fenin Goal 66'
Report Kim Goal 12'
Kwang Goal 89' (pen.)

July 3, 2007
19:45 EDT
23:45 UTC
Panama  0 – 6  Argentina Frank Clair Stadium, Ottawa
Attendance: 23,500
Referee: Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh Malaysia (MAS)
Report Moralez Goal 20' Goal 27'
Zárate Goal 23'
Agüero Goal 25' Goal 62'
Di María Goal 76'

July 6, 2007
17:00 EDT
21:00 UTC
Czech Republic  2 – 1  Panama Olympic Stadium, Montreal
Attendance: 34,912
Referee: Steven Depiero Canada (CAN)
Kalouda Goal 79'
Střeštík Goal 82'
Report Barahona Goal 84'

July 6, 2007
17:00 EDT
21:00 UTC
Argentina  1 – 0  Korea DPR Frank Clair Stadium, Ottawa
Attendance: 26,559
Referee: Viktor Kassai Hungary (HUN)
Agüero Goal 35' Report

Group F

Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
 Japan 7 3 2 1 0 4 1 +3
 Nigeria 7 3 2 1 0 3 0 +3
 Costa Rica 3 3 1 0 2 2 3 −1
 Scotland 0 3 0 0 3 2 7 −5
July 1, 2007
14:15 PDT
21:15 UTC
Japan  3 – 1  Scotland Royal Athletic Park, Victoria
Attendance: 11,500
Referee: German Arredondo Mexico (MEX)
Morishima Goal 43'
Umesaki Goal 57'
Aoyama Goal 79'
Report Campbell Goal 82'

July 1, 2007
17:00 PDT
00:00 UTC
Nigeria  1 – 0  Costa Rica Royal Athletic Park, Victoria
Attendance: 11,500
Referee: Peter O'Leary New Zealand (NZL)
Ideye Goal 75' Report

July 4, 2007
17:00 PDT
00:00 UTC
Costa Rica  0 – 1  Japan Royal Athletic Park, Victoria
Attendance: 10,500
Referee: Wolfgang Stark Germany (GER)
Report Tanaka Goal 68'

July 4, 2007
19:45 PDT
02:45 UTC
Scotland  0 – 2  Nigeria Royal Athletic Park, Victoria
Attendance: 10,500
Referee: Terry Vaughn United States (USA)
Report Bala Goal 49' Goal 78'

July 7, 2007
17:00 PDT
00:00 UTC
Japan  0 – 0  Nigeria Royal Athletic Park, Victoria
Attendance: 11,500
Referee: German Arredondo Mexico (MEX)
Report

July 7, 2007
17:00 PDT
00:00 UTC
Scotland  1 – 2  Costa Rica Swangard Stadium, Burnaby
Attendance: 10,000
Referee: Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh Malaysia (MAS)
Reynolds Goal 18' Report Herrera Goal 57'
McDonald Goal 90+2'

Third place rankings

The best four third-placed teams also advance to the knockout stage. The final standings are shown below.

Group Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
A  Congo 4 3 1 1 1 3 4 −1
B  Uruguay 4 3 1 1 1 3 4 −1
C  Portugal 3 3 1 0 2 4 4 0
D  Brazil 3 3 1 0 2 4 5 −1
F  Costa Rica 3 3 1 0 2 2 3 −1
E  Korea DPR 2 3 0 2 1 2 3 −1

Knockout stage

Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
                           
11 July - Edmonton            
  Austria  2
14 July - Toronto
  Gambia  1  
  Austria  2
11 July - Toronto
    United States  1  
  United States  2
18 July - Edmonton
  Uruguay  1  
  Austria  0
11 July - Burnaby
    Czech Republic  2  
  Spain  4
14 July - Edmonton
  Brazil  2  
  Spain  1 (3)
11 July - Victoria
    Czech Republic  1 (4)  
  Japan  2 (3)
22 July - Toronto
  Czech Republic  2 (4)  
  Czech Republic  1
12 July - Edmonton
    Argentina  2
  Chile  1
15 July - Montreal
  Portugal  0  
  Chile  4
12 July - Ottawa
    Nigeria  0  
  Zambia  1
19 July - Toronto
  Nigeria  2  
  Chile  0
12 July - Toronto
    Argentina  3   Third place
  Argentina  3
15 July - Ottawa 22 July - Toronto
  Poland  1  
  Argentina  1   Austria  0
12 July - Montreal
    Mexico  0     Chile  1
  Mexico  3
  Congo  0  

Round of 16

July 11, 2007
17:45 MDT
23:45 UTC
Austria  2 – 1  Gambia Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton
Attendance: 18,721
Referee: Mohamed Benouza (ALG)
Prödl Goal 45+1'
Hoffer Goal 81'
Report Gómez Goal 69'

July 11, 2007
19:45 EDT
23:45 UTC
United States  2 – 1 (a.e.t.)  Uruguay National Soccer Stadium, Toronto
Attendance: 19,526
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Cardaccio Goal 87' (o.g.)
Bradley Goal 107'
Report Suárez Goal 73'

July 11, 2007
20:15 PDT
03:15 UTC
Spain  4 – 2 (a.e.t.)  Brazil Swangard Stadium, Burnaby
Attendance: 10,000
Referee: Martin Hansson (SWE)
Piqué Goal 43'
Javi García Goal 84'
Bueno Goal 102'
López Goal 120+1'
Report Leandro Lima Goal 39'
Pato Goal 41'

July 11, 2007
20:15 PDT
03:15 UTC
Japan  2 – 2 (a.e.t.)  Czech Republic Royal Athletic Park, Victoria
Attendance: 11,500
Referee: Hernando Buitrago (COL)
Makino Goal 22'
Morishima Goal 47' (pen.)
Report Kúdela Goal 74' (pen.)
Mareš Goal 77' (pen.)
    Penalties  
Yasuda Missed (saved)
Aoki Scored
Makino Scored
Morishima Missed (saved)
Kashiwagi Scored
3 – 4 Scored Fenin
Scored Kúdela
Scored Suchý
Missed (hit post) Pekhart
Scored Okleštěk
 

July 12, 2007
16:45 EDT
20:45 UTC
Zambia  1 – 2  Nigeria Frank Clair Stadium, Ottawa
Attendance: 22,531
Referee: Wolfgang Stark (GER)
Kola Goal 33' Report Echiejile Goal 3'
Akabueze Goal 57'

July 12, 2007
16:45 EDT
20:45 UTC
Argentina  3 – 1  Poland National Soccer Stadium, Toronto
Attendance: 19,526
Referee: Joel Aguilar (SLV)
Di María Goal 40'
Agüero Goal 46' Goal 86'
Report Janczyk Goal 33'

July 12, 2007
19:45 EDT
23:45 UTC
Mexico  3 – 0  Congo Olympic Stadium, Montreal
Attendance: 40,204
Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN)
Giovani Goal 23' (pen.)
Esparza Goal 85'
Barrera Goal 90+4'
Report

July 12, 2007
17:45 MDT
23:45 UTC
Chile  1 – 0  Portugal Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton
Attendance: 24,687
Referee: Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh (MAS)
Vidal Goal 45' Report

Quarter-finals

July 14, 2007
14:15 EDT
18:15 UTC
Austria  2 – 1 (a.e.t.)  United States National Soccer Stadium, Toronto
Attendance: 19,526
Referee: Martin Hansson (SWE)
Okotie Goal 43'
Hoffer Goal 105'
Report Altidore Goal 15'

July 14, 2007
17:45 MDT
23:45 UTC
Spain  1 – 1 (a.e.t.)  Czech Republic Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton
Attendance: 26,801
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Mata Goal 110' Report Kalouda Goal 103'
    Penalties  
Mata Scored
Adrián Scored
Valiente Missed (hit crossbar)
Javi García Scored
Piqué Missed (saved)
3 – 4 Scored Fenin
Scored Suchý
Scored Kúdela
Scored Pekhart
 

July 15, 2007
14:15 EDT
18:15 UTC
Chile  4 – 0 (a.e.t.)  Nigeria Olympic Stadium, Montreal
Attendance: 46,252
Referee: Howard Webb (ENG)
Grondona Goal 96'
Isla Goal 114' (pen.) Goal 117'
Vidangossy Goal 120+2'
Report

July 15, 2007
19:45 EDT
23:45 UTC
Argentina  1 – 0  Mexico Frank Clair Stadium, Ottawa
Attendance: 26,559
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)
Moralez Goal 45' Report

Semi-finals

July 18, 2007
17:45 MDT
23:45 UTC
Austria  0 – 2  Czech Republic Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton
Attendance: 28,401
Referee: Howard Webb (ENG)
Report Mičola Goal 4'
Fenin Goal 15'

July 19, 2007
19:45 EDT
23:45 UTC
Chile  0 – 3  Argentina National Soccer Stadium, Toronto
Attendance: 19,526
Referee: Wolfgang Stark (GER)
Report Di María Goal 12'
Yacob Goal 65'
Moralez Goal 90+3'

Third place playoff

July 22, 2007
12:15 EDT
16:15 UTC
Austria  0 – 1  Chile National Soccer Stadium, Toronto
Attendance: 19,526
Referee: Martin Hansson (SWE)
Report Martínez Goal 45+1'

Final

July 22, 2007
15:15 EDT
19:15 UTC
Czech Republic  1 – 2  Argentina National Soccer Stadium, Toronto
Attendance: 19,526
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)
Fenin Goal 60' Report Agüero Goal 62'
Zárate Goal 86'

Goalscorers

6 goals
5 goals
4 goals
3 goals
2 goals
1 goal
1 goal (cont.)
Own goal

Winner

 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup Winners 

Argentina
Sixth title
2nd Place 3rd Place 4th Place
Czech Republic Czech Republic Chile Chile Austria Austria

Awards

Golden Ball Silver Ball Bronze Ball
Argentina Sergio Agüero Argentina Maximiliano Moralez Mexico Giovani Dos Santos
Golden Shoe Silver Shoe Bronze Shoe
Argentina Sergio Agüero Spain Adrián López Argentina Maximiliano Moralez
6 goals 5 goals 4 goals
FIFA Fair Play Award
 Japan

Controversies

Nigerian accusations of racism

The Chile-Nigeria quarter-final match took place on FIFA's "Say No To Racism Day". During extra time, Chile's Mauricio Isla scored at the 96th minute. The Nigerians argued that it was offside, though referee Howard Webb allowed the goal to stand. Replays showed that a defender was caught out of place on an offside trap. Keeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa was shown the yellow card for his protest.[6][7]

At a post-game news conference, Nigerian coach Ladan Bosso said "What happened on the pitch, the officiating, I think FIFA has a long way to go to beat racism, because that official showed racism." When asked if he felt Webb was a racist, Bosso said only that "It's good for FIFA to bring in the fight against racism, but they have to follow it to the letter, so the implementation will be done."[8] The coach was fined CHF 11,000 and banned for four months, as the disciplinary committee found him guilty of "offensive behaviour" under the terms of article 57 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.[9]

The Nigerian FA was also sanctioned for allowing the players to wear t-shirts with religious statements under their game jerseys. This was a clear violation of the regulations of the tournament that state "Players and officials are not allowed to display political, religious, commercial or personal messages in any language or form on their playing or team kits ..."[6]

Chilean clash with Police

On July 19, 2007, there was a very controversial semifinal match between Chile and Argentina. Referee Wolfgang Stark was criticized by the Chilean players for his officiating, having "lost control of the match early" [10] and for issuing seven yellow cards (out of nine) and two red cards against the Chilean team during the match[11]. In total he issued 53 fouls, 30 of which he charged to Chile.[12] and 23 to Argentina.

Chilean striker Nicolás Medina hinted that he felt that the referee was favoring the Argentine team, stating that "Eleven against eleven, the game would have been much more fair."[13]. Added to this is the perception that the Argentine players were able to employ "diving" tactics and "theatrics" [13] to influence the referee's calls. However, before the game the Chilean players had suffered from a lot of pressure imposed by their own national media who saw a victory against Argentina as a national priority and described the match as a war more than as a normal confrontation between two football teams. Probably because of that pressure, the Chilean players started to lose their self-control on the field very early and resorted to putting constant pressure on Stark by systematically challenging every single one of his decisions. During one of those heated arguments, a Chilean fan invaded the pitch and attempted to physically assault the referee. The abusive fan had to be restrained by the Canadian police and even by some members of the Chilean squad.

Following the match, Stark and his colleagues were surrounded by livid Chilean players who were restrained by members of the Toronto Police. Stark then had to be escorted off of the pitch and into the dressing room tunnel by police officers for fear that he would be attacked by the crowd and/or Chilean players at the National Soccer Stadium.[14]

Afterwards, several players and delegates of the Chilean team were involved in a brawl with police outside Toronto's National Soccer Stadium,[15] which ended with several Chileans injured, then handcuffed and detained inside the stadium. How the events unfolded is not unanimous, with two currently existing versions.

Players' version

According to the Chilean players and some witnesses, at 10:22 p.m. (local time) Chilean player Isaías Peralta — before getting on the team bus — walked towards a crowd of Chilean fans stationed behind a security fence some 50 metres away from the bus, but was stopped by about ten policemen some 30 metres away from the fence. A heated discussion took place, where Peralta (who speaks no English) was verbally and physically abused by the policemen. Peralta was tasered by one police officer and he lost consciousness for 20 minutes. Chilean player Arturo Vidal arrived at the scene to help his team mate and got involved in a struggle with the police. Other eyewitnesses stated it was Chilean goalkeeper Cristopher Toselli who walked towards the fans when he was grabbed by a security guard, prompting the melee.[16] This was noticed by the other players inside the bus, who also got involved in the struggle with the police. All players — except Peralta, who lay unconscious on the ground — got back on the bus and closed the doors to keep the police out. A policewoman noticed this and threw a tear gas canister (or something to that effect) inside the bus. The players panicked and started breaking windows to let air in. Three minutes later the president of the Chilean National Association of Professional Football (ANFP), Harold Mayne-Nicholls, asked the players to descend from the bus to take a different one. As the players were getting off the bus they were violently detained by police; some players were even handcuffed. Alexis Sánchez — who was coming out of the antidoping test — heard some people screaming and arrived at the scene, but was also beaten by police. The police then took the players back to the stadium. Christian Suárez – arriving from the mixed zone – was also detained.[17] Peralta claimed that after he regained consciousness: "I saw 10 police officers were hitting me and throwing acid in my face;"[18] and also claimed the police removed an object the size of a match from his back so the press wouldn't be able to see it.[19] Other Chilean players said to the Chilean press that the Canadian police treated them like criminals, used pepper spray and Tasers on them, threatened them with legal action, and that while they were on the team's dressing room showing each other's wounds, they were laughed at.[17][19] During the Sunday final Mayne-Nicholls – who is also a FIFA official – allegedly identified the policeman who gave the order to use gas on the players and asked him why he had acted that way; Mayne-Nicholls claimed the policeman responded: "We use gas and electricity when we deal with criminals like yours."[20]

Police version

The police version of the events, as given by Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, claimed that the melee began when Chilean players got into a scuffle with a rival fan.[21] He added that "members of the Chilean team then decided to direct some of their aggressive behaviour towards my officers... The job of my officers was to respond in a firm, but fair, manner to end that violence. They are trained to do so, and that is what they did."[21] According to eyewitness accounts, the players on the bus began throwing things at police through the windows and tried to grab officers from inside the damaged bus.[22] FIFA spokesman John Schumacher said: "The Chilean players were detained by the police to de-escalate the situation that was taking place in front of the stadium."[18]

Eyewitness accounts stated that the altercation began as the Chilean players were heading to their bus, across the driveway from the doors of the stadium. There was apparently yelling near the bus, and then a scuffle erupted. Nathan Denette, a reported for Canadian Press stated: "Next thing you know, the bus just unloads and there's eight, 10 players come off the bus and there's just fists flying everywhere, between the cops, the security guards, a couple of ladies were involved that were security." As the conflict became more heated, a police officer did use a Taser – though it was unclear if it was used on a player or an official with the Chilean team – after which the brawl became even more intense.[18] It was also asserted that any bruises sustained by anyone involved were "tiny."[23]

Press shut-out

The Chilean press alleged that all press were removed from the area by security personnel since the incident's start, threatened with the removal of their tapes if they recorded anything and locked inside a room for several minutes.[24]

Aftermath

Ten Chilean team members were detained over three hours and then released without charges.[25] FIFA president Sepp Blatter said the next day at a press conference in Toronto that the incident was "regrettable" and that he "apologized in the name of FIFA."[26] The ANFP (Chilean Professional Football Association) hired a Toronto law firm to pursue legal action against the Toronto police.[17]

In Chile the incident was on the front page of every major newspaper. The Canadian embassy in Santiago received a bomb threat and angry Chileans protested outside the embassy with signs reading "Racist Canada."[27] Chile's President, Michelle Bachelet, said that the incident was "especially serious because, in our opinion, the Chilean delegation suffered unjustified aggression,"[26] and lodged a formal protest with the Canadian government.[28] In response, Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, remarked that "international soccer matches are hotly contested and often become very emotional. As you know, there are processes in Canada by which the authorities review these kinds of incidents and I don't intend to comment further."[28]

It was reported in the Canadian media on July 30, 2007, that Isaias Peralta had confessed to Santiago's El Mercurio that one of the Chilean team members had punched a female police office in the face before Peralta had been tasered, but maintained that the Toronto police had assaulted the Chilean team members before they retaliated; the following day Peralta denied making the comments.[29] Police spokesperson Mark Pugash affirmed a female officer had been hit in the face, and stated the Chilean's violent behaviour prompted police to use Tasers and pepper spray, upholding the story that the Chileans had started the mêlée by confronting an Argentinean fan.[30] After an internal review headed by Superintendent Jim Ramer – in which witnesses, including event security officials, members of the Ontario Soccer Association, the BMO Field event coordinator, and the driver of the Chilean bus, offered statements – a report issued by the Toronto Police Service on July 31, 2007, found that officers had acted professionally and with "with an immense amount of restraint" during the conflict outside the BMO Field, in which Chilean players "punched, kicked, spat on and kicked" police and security staff. The report stated that the violence started when two people not involved in the game confronted each other. Security guards first attempted to intervene, and then police, which is when a Chilean player punched a female police officer in the face. From that point, the report said the violence escalated; Chilean players dismantled the armrests and footrests from the bus seats, and smashed the windows in order to spit at and throw these objects, plus D-cell batteries, clothes hangers, and cans of deodorant at the police. Four officers were reportedly injured by projectiles. FIFA agreed to pay for the $35,000 in damages to the team's rented bus.[29]

Harold Mayne-Nicholls, chair of the Football Federation of Chile and a witness to the event said: "I didn't see any Chilean player hitting any officer except between all the struggling." Patricio Bascunan, president of the Salvador Allende Cultural Society of Toronto, said an independent review was needed.[29]

Disciplinary Measures

Chile's Jaime Grondona was suspended for nine months at all levels (domestic and international) and fined CHF 7,000 (including procedural costs) for assaulting match officials. The Chilean football association was fined CHF 15,000 for "team misconduct".[5]

See also

References

  1. ^ "National Soccer Stadium" was the temporary name of the BMO Field during this tournament, as FIFA prohibits sponsorship of stadia unless the stadium sponsor is also an official FIFA sponsor.
  2. ^ "FIFA U-20 World Cup surpasses 950,000 spectators". CanadaSoccer.com. 2007-06-28. http://www.canadasoccer.com/eng/media/viewArtical.asp?Press_ID=2755. Retrieved 2007-07-01.  
  3. ^ "History made with Canada 2007 ticket sales". FIFA. 2007-03-01. http://www.fifa.com/u20worldcup/organisation/media/newsid=112480.html#history+made+with+canada+2007+ticket+sales. Retrieved 2007-07-01.  
  4. ^ "Fast starts for Mexico, Portugal". FIFA.com. 2007-07-03. http://www.fifa.com/u20worldcup/news/newsid=543909.html#fast+starts+mexico+portugal. Retrieved 2007-07-04.  
  5. ^ "Canada sets U-20 World Cup attendance record". CBC Sports. 2007-07-20. http://www.cbc.ca/sports/fifau20/story/2007/07/20/fifa-canada-attendance-record.html. Retrieved 2007-07-22.  
  6. ^ a b [1]
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ [3]
  9. ^ [4]
  10. ^ TheStar.com | Sports | Beautiful game turns ugly
  11. ^ FIFA.com
  12. ^ http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/soccer/07/20/bc.soc.u20.chilefight.ap/index.html
  13. ^ a b Argentina dives to finals
  14. ^ Argentina advances to FIFA U-20 final - FIFA U-20 - Sports - CBC.ca
  15. ^ [Reuters: Chile soccer players clash with Toronto police; July 20, 2007]
  16. ^ Campbell, Morgan; Toronto Star: CSA seeking witnesses to Chile brawl; July 24, 2007
  17. ^ a b c La Tercera July 21, 2007 edition
  18. ^ a b c CTV News: Chile officials blame T.O. police for soccer brawl; July 20, 2007
  19. ^ a b Sub 20: Los jugadores contaron su impactante versión de los hechos", El Mercurio Online, agencias, accessed July 21, 2007
  20. ^ "Mayne-Nicholls relató inéditos detalles de golpiza en Canadá" La Tercera, accessed on July 24, 2007
  21. ^ a b Chilean officials blame Police for melee, tsn.ca, accessed July 20, 2007
  22. ^ "Chile officials say Toronto police to blame for soccer team's post-match brawl" Canadian Press, accessed July 21, 2007
  23. ^ [Warmington, Joe; Toronto Sun: Chileans' conduct shameful; July 23, 2007]
  24. ^ El Mercurio July 20, 2007 edition
  25. ^ La Tercera July 22, 2007 edition.
  26. ^ a b "Chile football players face FIFA probe after brawl", Reuters, accessed July 21, 2007
  27. ^ "Toronto melee a global dust-up", thestar.com, accessed July 21, 2007
  28. ^ a b Babage, Maria, T.O. cops under scrutiny, Slam.ca, July 20, 2007
  29. ^ a b c Powell, Betsy; Dale, Daniel; Toronto Star: Officers cleared in soccer scuffle; July 31, 2007
  30. ^ Dale, Daniel; Toronto Star: Chilean player admits officer was punched; July 30, 2007

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