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Soccer-Venezuela struck by stomach bug ahead of Chile qualifier

Reuters

CARACAS, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Venezuela's national soccer team has been struck by a stomach bug before their visit to Chile for a potentially decisive World Cup qualifier.

Coach Cesar Farias told a news conference that 20 of his players, nearly the entire squad, had been affected.

"They didn't have a good night and they weren't able to train well," he told reporters, without giving further details.

Venezuela, the only South American team never to have played at the World Cup, are sixth in the nine-team South American group, with 16 points from 13 games, behind Uruguay on goal difference. Chile are fourth with 21.

The top four teams qualify directly for the World Cup and the fifth-place team plays off over two legs against the team which finishes fifth in Asian qualifying. (Reporting by Diego Ore; Writing by Brian Homewood, Editing by Ian Ransom)

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