Venezuelan football teams hold minute's silence after kick-off to get around TV blackout

Telegraph Sport
The referee blew the whistle - but the game didn't really begin

A football match in Venezuela has witnessed a minute's silence held during the match, in the moments after kick-off was taken.

After the referee blew his whistle for the beginning of the game between Lara and Anzoátegui, kick-off was taken and one pass made, before all players came to a halt.

The minute's silence was held out of respect for those who have died in the recent unrest in the country, with the Venezuelan authorities clashing with anti-government protesters.

It appears that the unusual timing of the players paying their respects was in the cause of trying to make sure that the silence could not be edited out of television coverage of the game – which is exactly what happened in another game, between Carabobo and Caracas.

The players received much support online for their actions, and other observers called out the commentary team on the broadcast for "failing in their duty" to describe what was going on.

Venezuela is in the grip of an economic crisis and a month of protests, campaigns for new elections, lootings and politically motivated shootings have seen 23 people die.

It remains to be seen if there will be further demonstrations at football matches, or whether these teams will face any reprisals. 

Anzoátegui, the visitors, ran out 2-0 winners and moved up to fourth in the league; Lara remain eighth.

 

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