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Report backs Toronto police in clash with Chilean U-20s
July 31st, 2007 7AM



A Toronto police report released Monday concluded that officers acted appropriately during a clash with players and staff of the Chilean U-20 team after their semifinal match with Argentina on July 19 at the Under-20 World Cup.

"All witnesses reported that the conduct and actions of the officers involved was appropriate, necessary and commendable," Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair told a press conference. "The investigation revealed that my officers intervened at the first sign of trouble, but that members of the Chilean team not only refused to stop their aggressive behavior, but engaged in conduct that inflamed the situation."

According to witnesses, Chilean players, who claim they were clubbed by police, punched, kicked, spat upon and kicked the officers.

"During the violence," said Blair, "Chilean players dismantled the armrests and footrests of the bus seats. They smashed the windows of the bus to throw these -- and spit at -- the officers below them. They also threw D-cell batteries at the officers, clothes hangers and cans of deodorant. Four officers were struck by the projectiles thrown."

This was the second international incident involving Chilean players in July.

Chile's soccer federation banned senior six national team players -- captain Jorge Valdivia, Jorge Vargas, Pablo Contreras, Reinaldo Navia, Rodrigo Tello and Alvaro Ormeno -- from the upcoming 2010 World Cup qualifiers for going on a drunken rampage at the Copa America in Venezuela.

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