Foreign players have left the country, players and their families have suffered personal tragedies, and stadiums have been damaged as a result of the earthquake which hit the country a week ago, Reuters reports. Clubs in the south of the country are hardest hit, including top-tier clubs Huachipato, Universidad de Concepcion and Nublense.
The World Cup appearance by the national team was important for the morale of the country, said Chilean football federation (ANFP) president Harold Mayne-Nicholls.
Chile’s domestic season since 2002 has involved the Apertura (opening) championship in the first half of the year, and the Clausura (closing) championship in the second half. Teams face each other one time in each championship, at home in one, away in the other. The Apertura was six rounds into the season when the earthquake hit.
This year, the one Championship will start before the World Cup and finish after it.