What They're Saying: Uruguayan federation president Wilmar Valdez

"South American soccer is passion. [The United States is] a different culture, with lots of positive things. But it's a country where they don't feel soccer. They are not like South Americans and that causes problems."

-- Uruguayan federation president Wilmar Valdez, telling Uruguayan radio station Sport 890 that it was wrong to hold the Centenario edition of the Copa America in the United States. His remarks came the day after the Celeste lost to Mexico, 3-1. (Reuters)
9 comments about "What They're Saying: Uruguayan federation president Wilmar Valdez".
  1. Albert Harris, June 7, 2016 at 8:52 a.m.

    Yeah, it was definitely our fault. LOL

  2. :: SilverRey ::, June 7, 2016 at 9:38 a.m.

    That stadium was packed and loud - just not with Uruguayan fans. Sounds like bitter grapes to me...

  3. Fire Paul Gardner Now, June 7, 2016 at 9:58 a.m.

    Well he better get used to it if the rumors of a combined Copa/Gold Cup coming here permanently are true....

  4. Kent James, June 7, 2016 at 2:08 p.m.

    Yes, you could tell all those Mexican fans (many of whom undoubtedly are US citizens or residents) don't 'feel' soccer. Had they played (and won) in an empty stadium, he might have a case. As it was, SilverRey is right, he didn't like the taste of defeat...

  5. Ric Fonseca replied, June 7, 2016 at 2:15 p.m.

    Yupo! SilverRey got it darned right!!! This guy Wilmer Valdez's comments are typical of a guy who thought they are/were going to roll over the opponents just because they're from South Amerca, and we don't know jack about the sport. Betcha if he got a job here and learned about the NBA, MLB, NHL, and collegiate sports, and get a nice fat pay check, he'd change his tune, and then he'd be able to go to Disneyland in SoCal and Florida, Universal Studios, and see great movies. What a "lloron" (crybaby)

  6. Ginger Peeler, June 7, 2016 at 2:11 p.m.

    Um...we, the organizers of this tournament played the Chilean national anthem for Uruguay's team in the pregame of Uruguay/Mexico. That could certainly feed the paranoia. There's absolutely NO excuse for us to have messed up so badly. And if you think it's no big deal, how would you feel if they played Canada's national anthem tonight instead of the Star Spangled Banner while our guys stand with hands over hearts? Also, the Chilean national anthem was interrupted by a Pitbull song prior to their game with Argentina. One wag has already named this phenomenon "Anthem-gate".

  7. Ric Fonseca replied, June 7, 2016 at 2:19 p.m.

    Buenos dias Ginger! How y'all doing today? "Anthem-gate?" I remember it has happened many times before, how about when Jimmy Hendrix (sp) played the anthem on his guitar, or when the Natl Anthem was sung differently by a Latina at a game (don't remember which even - senior moment, I guess?) Though I betcha this won't happen again, let's blame the stadium staffers who screwed up, not on the organizing committee.

  8. Ginger Peeler, June 7, 2016 at 3:34 p.m.

    Well, it's happened twice, so far. I was not blaming the organizing committee, but the organizers. The national anthem tapes should have been checked and double checked prior to loading before somebody up in the booth (or, wherever) pushed the "play" button. Whoever is responsible for this is poorly organized. Sure, a stadium staffer may have messed this up, but his boss and his boss' boss and so on up the line failed to catch it. All the teams that have traveled here should be treated with dignity. This kind of thing damages our image as it appears we're being disrespectful. I'm sure that's not the case, it wasn't done deliberately, but that's the perception and anyone in public relations can tell you that perception is critical. It's something Valdez can point at and say, "See? I told you so."

  9. Claus Fischer replied, June 8, 2016 at 5:47 a.m.

    Ginger, you are correct and right to point out 'amateur hour' at one of these Copa host stadiums. Let's not forget that at least double the number of stadiums and cities bid to host. What an embarrassment for the Phoenix/Glendale stadium staff. Mr. Fonseca, it is both organizing committee and stadium staff. One cannot dodge responsibility. One can/must rehearse faithfully prior to game day. It is not as if there is not a long, long list of cringeworthy international sports events over the last 60 years of modern times where botched anthems has occurred in various places around the world. Thus one takes the necessary fail-safe steps to make sure things run flawlessly. The USA claims to be a better place. Well? Then prove it. Anything less than perfection is failure. Good on you, Ginger, to highlight and not sidestep an embarrassment.

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