Santiago, June 29 (IANS) Jorge Sampaoli, coach of Chile’s national soccer team, has rejected there is favouritism in the semifinal game between Chile and Peru, to be held next Monday.
Sampaoli said: “I do not agree with those who say there is favouritism. Chile has played a great tournament but in semifinals we will face a team that has been growing, a confident team and one who has certainly better offensive tactics than Uruguay, so it will be very difficult.”
But despite Sampaoli’s words, Chile and Argentina are favourite to win semifinals and defeat Peru and Paraguay, respectively, reports Xinhua.
About CONMEBOL’s decision to punish Chilean defender Gonzalo Jara for his inappropriately touch against Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani, Sampaoli said: “we are certainly surprised for Jara’s issue. Uruguay did not want to play, they possessed the ball only 20 percent and there was friction in the game.”
Sampaoli said: “the accusations that are not related with the referee’s report really surprise me. Jara and Cavani both deserved yellow card, that is it.
“Chile’s coach added that “from now on, every case should be evaluated in the same way. But if this will be the way of facing incidents, as a mandatory prosecution, this will be widespread.”
Sampaoli said he is now analyzing who will replace Jara, who “was playing an extraordinary tournament”.
About Peru, Sampaoli said the team led by Ricardo Gareca “has been growing with talented players who are fearsome”.
Chile and Peru will face next Monday at 8:30 p.m. local time (11:30 p.m. GMT).