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The Chilean professional footballers association and its members showed their commitment to the victims of the enormous fire that so dramatically affected the lives of thousands of residents of Valparaiso last weekend. Sifup organized a charity match which was played on Wednesday April 16 to generate funds for the victims of the disaster.

Following the horrific fire that damaged the hills of Valparaiso which affected around 12.500 residents, the football community in Chile wanted to lend a helping hand. Most of the people lost their homes and fifteen people died due of the fire.

Players and clubs immediate responded by collecting clothes, blankets, water, medicines and other goods. Sifup together with the players decided to organize a charity match, named #ElFútbolxValpo, yesterday evening at the Monumental stadium.

For this occasion the 'Stars of Sifup', a selection of active players from different clubs in the metropolitan area, played against the newly crowned 2014 champions Colo-Colo. The team was led by former international Elias Figueroa and was the prelude to the Copa Chile final between Iquique and Huachipato. The final was moved for this occasion to the Estadio Monumental. The clubs and players donated their TV funds from the final of the Copa Chile for the victims.Sifup-Valpo-3-640

Sifup president Carlos Soto recalled the events of the past 48 hours: "I received phone calls from ex-international and captain of Santiago Wanderers Moisés Villarroel and the captain of Santiago Wanderers (the team located in Valparaíso). They both wanted to help the victims of the fire. Sifup has consulted Colo Colo, the new champion of the Chilean Premier League, and the football federation to play a charity match. Everyone was willing to help and to contribute, so it was arranged very fast."

"A lot of people in our football family are victims or know victims of the fire which has taken place last weekend. For instance two assistants of Santiago Wanderers lost their houses. Their homes were fully destroyed by the fire. The impact of the fire is huge."

"The aunt and cousin of Fiorentina and Chile midfielder David Pizarro lost their houses as well. Pizarro promised to donate the same amount of money that the match of Wanderers against Cobresal will raise this weekend."

"A lot of players are visiting and helping the people in the affected area. You should consider that the working class people of Valparaiso do not have many alternatives in a situation like this. It's not a wealthy region. I think it's great to see the commitment of all our members. Everyone is helping. And the fact that together with the players we were able to organise the charity match so fast, shows real solidarity and vigour."