The recent political crisis in Venezuela is affecting local football once again. Last night, two of the Venezuelan representatives at the Copa Libertadores had to play two matches in a few hours.
Deportivo Lara had to travel across Venezuela. They first defeated Llaneros de Guanare away 4-0 in a Primera Division match. Five hours later, they won 2-1 against Huracán at the Copa Libertadores. The distance between the two stadiums is 174 kilometers, and the travel could take more than two hours.
Another team, Zamora, had a much more complicated journey. They played their league game against Deportivo La Guaira in Caracas and immediately afterwards had to play against Atlético Mineiro in Belo Horizonte, which means that there is no real chance that the same players will play these two matches. Unsurprisingly, they lost both of these matches.
Earlier, both of the teams requested to the FA to delay their matches at the Primera Division. Unfortunately, they decided to reject these requests. The teams chose to play with their first team players at the Copa Libertadores, while the reserves played at the domestic league.
The reason for this rejection was the current situation in the country. The Venezuelan FA couldn't know whether it will be possible to complete these matches later.
The ongoing socioeconomic and political situation in the country is causing problems all over Venezuela. There is a lack of energy resources and therefore reoccurring blackouts due to electricity shortages. There is also a chronic hunger and medical crisis. The local government, led by the Nicolás Maduro is refusing to accept any aid from the Red Cross or other countries.
A month ago, another Copa Libertadores match was affected by this situation. Lara's first home match against Emelec was scheduled to be played on 10 pm, but there were no lights at the stadium because of the nationwide electricity problems. The game was delayed and was played the next day at 3 pm when there is no need for lights. It almost happened for Deprotivo Lara once again tonight, when their match was interrupted after 20 minutes.
Everyone will speak about the incidents that happened last night in Venezuela. Deportivo Lara's two wins on the same day could be a fantastic story. Still, the crisis in Venezuela reveals the bigger problem. The darkness is not only in the stadiums but also among the people.