Sports Now

Sports news from Los Angeles and beyond

« Previous Post | Sports Now Home | Next Post »

World Cup: It's not such a grand old flag, but it's Chile's inspiration

June 23, 2010 |  6:19 am

Inspiration is where you find it, and in the case of Chile's World Cup team, inspiration was found amid the rubble of the earthquake that devastated the country in February.

It comes in the shape of a torn and dirty flag that flies above Chile's training base in Ingwenyama, not far from Nelspruit in the far north of South Africa.

The flag was brought from South America specifically to help the players rise to the occasion but also to realize what they are playing for and what their fellow Chileans are enduring. 

"It's in our minds what happened with the catastrophe," Claudio Bravo, the team's goalkeeper and captain, told the Associated Press. "I think the flag was brought for that reason. It's a very important thing for us, and we take it as a big motivation."

Chile plays European champion Spain on Friday night in the final first-round games in Group H. It needs at least a tie to make sure of a place in the knockout rounds.

-- Grahame L. Jones in Pretoria, South Africa