The sun tries to pierce the thick fog to warm up Santiago and enliven the upcoming climax of the Copa America, but unfortunately not to the avail it expects.
(Soundbite) Simon, Student
“When the smog accumulates, we can feel it. You will get tired faster. In some places physical education has been prohibited.”
The Chilean capital Thursday has been forced to endure a fourth consecutive day of environmental pre-emergence and a eleventh so far this year due to high pollution levels.
(Soundbite) Julio, Street Vendor
“The government should do something, because they should be concerned about the haze, the pollution, so many cars, they should make a decision because there are many people with sight infection, breathing difficulties and cold catching that damages the lungs and the body. The government seems to do nothing, just blah, blah and blah. Only words.”
The month-long Copa America will see its final match Saturday, but the haze appears to have no intention to retreat.
(Soundbite) Julio Alberto, Concierge
“Considering the sport, I think it does affect not only the Chileans but also the foreign players who come here for the tournament.”
The authority has cautioned the population with an “environmental pre-emergency” decree, advising no sports, no wood or biomass use and moving of vehicles as less as possible.
This has almost paralyzed city, especially the operation of many industries.
Though, the final match of the Copa America is to be held as scheduled, as the rules of the South American Football Confederation disallow any suspension for such reasons.
(Soundbite) – Julio Alberto, Concierge
“Historically, Chile and Argentina have played against each other for many times, but Chile never gained the upper hand. I think it will be a fierce competition, with a tie score, may be end in penalty round. As a Chilean, I certainly hope Chile to win, at least by 1-0.”
And the lingering smog has not diminished the Chileans’ zeal to wish a long-expected victory for their national team.