New Colo Colo Coach Begins with Católica Clash
Both Universidad Católica and Colo Colo have showed inconsitent form this year.
SANTIAGO – With neither club looking like challenging Universidad de Chile, who find themselves alone at the top of the table. The “Crusaders” currently sit in fifth position, while poor form sees Colo Colo, Chile’s most successful club in eighth place. Colo Colo will host Universidad Católica at Estadio Monumental in Macul in what will be an intense game, and not just on the field.
With a new president at the helm, the first decision was to sack Ivo Basay and install Luis Pérez as the interim coach. The hero of the 1991 Copa Libertadores victory will open his campaign against one of his other former clubs. Pérez won two Primera Divison titles (1987 and 1997) with Universidad Católica.
Colo Colo have had a shocking run of form at Estadio Monumental this year, with losses against Palestino, Universidad de Concepción and La Serena leaving the fans angry. Steps have been taken by the club to remove the Garra Blanca, the most militant of the fan groups. It is expected that the group will retaliate. They have stated before that they wish to remove Blanco y Negro, the company that runs the club. Stock prices in the company dropped three percent this morning.
New changes in stadium security now prohibit drums, large flags and other items. Colo Colo has recently cut funding to the Garra Blanca, with former president Hernan Levy saying, “Why should a normal fan have to pay more to sit in the same place as a hooligan?”
The head of the Stadium Security Plan, Cristián Barra, has required police protection and received threats from the fan groups.
Approximately 200 fans visited the stadium this morning to encourage the team in their final training run. Due to the new regulations, the chanting and well-wishing had to be done from outside the stadium. Garra Blanca leaders were not present.
Former Wanderers striker Carlos Muñoz was threatened earlier this week for supporting the club leadership. Supported by the ANFP and government authorities as well as players from other teams, the player has taken legal action against the fan leader known as “Pancho Malo”, Francisco Muñoz. The fan leaders have called for people to bring black balloons to protest against the club administration and have claimed they will aim to suspend the game. This happened in the match between Universidad de Chile and Iquique.
At a press conference involving the captains of Santiago’s major teams, Metropolitana Region Governer Cecilia Pérez stated, “We are all one team. United against violence, without threats and intimidation”.
Even José “Pepe” Rojas, captain of Universidad de Chile said, “At this moment we must all be one family. You have to take off your shirt and treat it as a family with parents and children involved.”
The meeting brought together captains from all of the Santiago-based teams.
It is important for Católica to find some form, as they seek to join Unión Española and Universidad de Chile in qualifying for the next stage of the Copa Libertadores. On the other hand, can the Colo Colo fans bear another home loss?
Take a look at this video of the 1991 Copa Libertadores victory, with Luis Pérez as the star.