Why Chile's national anthem was cut short in their FIFA U17 World Cup opener vs England
The music stopped but La Rojitas sang on.
When Chile and England lined up for their respective national anthems during their Group F opener at the FIFA U17 World Cup in Kolkata, the fans pouring into the stadium were witness to a passionate rendition of the Chilean national anthem when to their surprise La Rojitas kept on singing even after the music had been cut.
While many were quick to jump to the conclusion of an administrative fault, in reality, it is FIFA protocol that once both the participating member associations have lined up, the national anthem will be played for a maximum duration of about 90 seconds. A rule that more often than not unintentionally is responsible for a more emotional and passionate rendition of the national anthem by both the players and fans once the music dies down.
A thing that was started by Brazil fans during their build-up to the 2014 World Cup and picked up by most South American teams since, this emotional display of national pride and passion has found it's way to the FIFA U17 World Cup match here in Kolkata as Chile took on England in their opener.
This as an incident isn't something new and has happened before with the Chile team. Before both of La Roja's World Cup games, fans sang for nearly 30 seconds after FIFA cut off their anthem - the chorus of which talks about how Chile will be the tomb of the free or the refuge against oppression.
"It is the most passionate and important part. It signifies our pride and respect for our nation so we sing it loudly," said Waleska Fuchslocher, Chile's media manager when asked about the incident.
As England strolled to a 4-0 win over the hapless Chileans who went down to 10 men in the second half, Chile must have been thinking whether the full rendition of their national anthem would've made a difference. That said, protocols are protocols, and Chile now have a task in their hands to regroup from today's mauling and get their FIFA U17 World Cup campaign back on track.