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WRC event in Chile set to be cancelled amid social unrest

Sebastien Loeb of France and Daniel Elena of Monaco compete during Day Two of the WRC COPEC Chile on May 11, 2019 in Concepcion, Chile. (Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images)

The World Rally Championship’s planned event in Chile next April is set to be cancelled due to ongoing social unrest in the country.

The event had been due to take place from April 16-19 in Concepción. The WRC has not officially confirmed the cancellation but local officials have signalled their intention to not go ahead with the event.

Ongoing protests in Chile were sparked by a rise in subway fares and have since grown to include issues relating to education, health services and economic inequality. It is hoped the WRC will return to Chile in 2021.

“We consider it prudent to postpone this date – it needs an adequate climate to perform,” Sergio Giacaman, Mayor of the Biobio region, which runs the event, said, according to Motorsport.com.

“However, in Biobio we are all ralistas (rally fans) and, of course, we are going to work very hard for the 2021 event.”

Motorsport.com reported that the Rally of Spain, which was not included on the 2020 WRC calendar announced in September, is being considered as a potential replacement for the Chile event.

The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) moved last weekend’s Copa Libertadores final from the Chilean capital of Santiago to Lima in Peru due to the protests.