Asuncion: Chile have suspended five national team players for 10 matches for returning late and drunk from time off before a World Cup qualifier last month.
Midfielders Arturo Vidal, Carlos Carmona, Jorge Valdivia and Jean Beausejour and defender Gonzalo Jara, dropped from the squad by coach Claudio Borghi before a qualifier away to Uruguay on Nov. 7, which Chile lost 4-0, were also fined.
“The sanction is to be applied to the next 10 matches following this decision involving the senior national team, be it in official (competitive) matches or friendlies,” the Chilean Football Association (ANFP) said on its website.
The ANFP said the players had arrived “in an inadequate state to comply with their obligations as professional footballers … since they showed evident signs of having consumed alcohol.”
Borghi’s team recovered from the thrashing in Montevideo to beat Paraguay 2-0 at home in Santiago four days later. They are fifth in the South American group with six points from four matches, a point behind Uruguay, Argentina and Venezuela.
Chile host Paraguay in a friendly in La Serena on Wednesday involving players picked from the two countries’ domestic leagues only. Their next qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil are away to Bolivia and Venezuela in June.