A little over a week ago it was revealed that the Basque Football Federation had invited the Chilean National Team to participate in a friendly on 25 May at Alaves’ Mendizorrotza. Chile are not going to be participating in the World Cup but do have matches scheduled in June against Poland and Serbia, so the idea of adding a third match was received with positivity. Reports in Chile claimed that the match would most likely happen, but that specific things would need to be worked out before the offer would be accepted. Now a decision has finally been made.
Chile manager Reinaldo Rueda recently told Bio Bio Radio de Chile that the offer to play against the Basque National Team has been rejected. When asked for the reason why the friendly will not take place Rueda said, “It was not possible to fulfill all the requirements of the Chilean Federation”, suggesting that there were specific requests that the Basque Football Federation was unable to meet in order to have the offer accepted.
The Euskal Selekzioa did not play their customary Christmas friendly over the winter due to the fact that there was poor fan turnout in the previous year. Only roughly 15,000 fans showed up to the match against Tunisia in 2016 which has led the Basque Federation to re-evaluate the way they are doing things. The last time they went without playing a game was back in 2008 and right now it is unknown if the Federation will look to find a new opponent or perhaps wait until Christmas again like in previous years.
The Basque National Team hasn’t lost a friendly match since 2011 when they fell to Tunisia 2-0. Since then they have gone on to win four games and draw two with an aggregate scoreline of 18-4. Despite not being able to participate in major tournaments, the Euskal Selekzioa is will continue to look for ways to play in games in front of the Basque fans.