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FIFPro calls for halt to women's football tournament in Quito amid unrest

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FIFPro calls for halt to women's football tournament in Quito amid unrest
FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators run past a fire during a protest against Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno's austerity measures, in Quito, Ecuador October 13, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Romero/File Photo   -   Copyright  Henry Romero(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Global footballers’ union FIFPro on Sunday called for the suspension of the women’s Copa Libertadores tournament in Ecuador as several players feared for their safety amid political unrest in the capital of Quito.

The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said it was monitoring the situation but had not yet made a decision on whether the tournament, which began on Friday and is due to run until Oct. 27, would continue.

“Players from several clubs have contacted us saying they fear for their safety,” FIFPro said in a short statement posted on Twitter.

Featuring 16 teams from across South America, the tournament is being played across two stadiums in Quito, where armoured military vehicles patrolled the streets on Sunday after police and protesters continued to clash in the worst civil unrest for more than a decade.

At least seven people have been killed, several hundred wounded and more than 1,000 people arrested in protests that began on Oct. 3 after the government cut fuel subsidies.

Four matches were played on Friday’s opening day of the Copa Libertadores but CONMEBOL suspended the four games scheduled for Saturday. With no games scheduled for Sunday, the next four ties are due to be played on Monday.

(Reporting by Andrew Downie in London; editing by Jane Wardell)

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