A sport never short on controversy, soccer once again came into the spotlight for the wrong reasons last night, as the Chilean national anthem was played before Uruguay faced Mexico in the Copa America Centenario.
The Uruguayans, already missing star striker Luis Suarez due to a sore hamstring, literally had insult added to injury when the starters lined up on the field before kickoff for the playing of their country’s official song. As the anthem began to play, expressions of deference turned to looks of bewilderment, the Uruguayan players confused as to what they were hearing.
It turned out the anthem echoing throughout University of Phoenix Stadium was the song of Uruguay’s South American neighbors, Chile. Boos rained down from the stands, fans shocked by a moment of such ignorance.
Such a horrific mistake is without excuse given the months of planning that go into such events, especially considering Chile is not scheduled to visit the Glendale, Arizona stadium. The Organizing Committee for the game issued this apology on the Copa America 2016 Twitter page about a half hour into the match:
“This evening during the pre-match ceremony, due to human error, we inadvertently played the incorrect National Anthem. We sincerely apologize to the Uruguayan Federation, the Uruguay National Team, the people of Uruguay and to the fans for this mistake. We will work with all parties involved to ensure such an error does not occur again.”
To make matters worse, Uruguay, one of the favorites heading into the Copa America, lost the match 3-1 and now sit at the bottom of their group standings. Suffice it to say, yesterday was not a good day for Uruguayan supporters.
Check out video of the unforgivable blunder below: