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Costa Rica and North Korea matches off

Chile call-off friendlies after earthquake

February 28, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Chile have called off friendlies against Costa Rica and North Korea next week in the wake of the massive earthquake which hit the country in the early hours of Saturday.

Chile earthquake
GettyImagesThe massive earthquake in Chile measured 8.8 on the Richter scale

Chilean soccer federation president Harold Mayne-Nicholls said on the organisation's official website that it would be difficult to justify letting the game to go ahead after the disaster.

"Football cannot remain indifferent to the catastrophe which has hit our country and certainly not to the pain and tragedy of thousands of Chileans," Mayne-Nicholls said.

The players said in a statement: "At this moment, it is more important to look after the country's urgent necessities. There will be time for football."

Chile had planned to host both Costa Rica and North Korea on the same evening at the National Stadium, with coach Marcelo Biesla wanting to see as many players in action as possible as he prepares to lead the nation to its first finals World Cup finals since 1998.

One of the world's most powerful earthquakes in a century hammered Chile early on Saturday, killing more than 300 people as it toppled buildings.