Soccer Tournament Between Chile’s Indigenous People Continues
SANTIAGO—Chile’s first National Soccer Tournament of Original Peoples (Copa ANPO 2012) was held this week in the Estadio Nacional and in the Estadio Bicentenario de la Florida. More than 100 athletes represent their people in the event, which began this Wednesday and will continue through the weekend.
Representatives of the Rapa Nui, Aymara, Lican Antay and Mapuche groups, along with people from the Pewenches and the Warriaches, are participating in the tournament.
The Association of Original Peoples (ANPO) and the Corporation for National Indigenous Development (CONADI), organized the event, with the aim of using sport to bring light to ancestral cultures across the country.
CONADI was founded in 1993 to promote and implement development initiatives that aid indigenous Chilean people.The soccer tournament also coincides with Xipantu, or Mapuche New Year, the celebrations coincide with the winter solstice.
“This sporting competition is an example more of the concern that President Sebastian Piñera and his government puts into preserving and spreading the culture of the indigenous peoples. In this case, united them in the capital of Chile to play a sport that is the pastime of all sectors of society, a point of common interest between the indigenous culture and the Chilean culture,” stated the national director of CONADI, Jorge Retamal Rubio, who was joined by the national coordinator of Orígenes BID-Conadi, Karina Doña Molina.
With three rounds of matches already completed, the semifinals will be held on Saturday. The final match, which will decide the winner of the First National Soccer Championship of Original Peoples, will be held Sunday. Those in the know have picked the Rapa Nui as favorites to win the championship. Rapa Nui hosted Colo Colo in an historic Copa Chile match in 2009.
So far, both the Rapa Nui and the Mapuche selections won all their respective matches on Thursday and Friday, distinguishing themselves from the other teams. Meanwhile, the Aymara and the Lican Antai achieved victory in their Friday matches.
The tournament continues this weekend with semifinal and final matches to be held on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
June 24 will mark the Dia Nacional de Pueblos Indígenas.