Soccer Diplomacy: Chile vs. Peru

This weekend, Chile and Peru will square off in a World Cup qualifier that’s a must-win for the Peruvians. The match comes as Chile and Peru are in the Hague to settle a dispute over almost 25,000 miles of Pacific water space. It’s a contentious issue in both countries, but will the tensions spill over onto the pitch? Depends on whom you ask. Here’s Nolberto Solano, captain of the Peru team:

“We should not mix politics with soccer, we are brother countries. Wartime is over.”

But here’s Peruvian defender Carlos Zambrano (no, not the Chicago Cubs’ right-hander):

“I have never passed by them and I never will. They have infuriated and enraged me since I was a child and this Sunday I am going to get back at them for everything they have done to us.”

Prediction: Mr. Zambrano is headed for a red card.

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