The Venezuelan government reported this Wednesday (22) that the aircraft transporting players from the national football team is prevented from leaving Peru.
The team traveled to the country to face the Peruvian team in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. The match took place on Tuesday night (21) at the National Stadium in Lima, the Peruvian capital, and ended in a 1-1 draw.
The Venezuela team was supposed to leave Peruvian territory this Wednesday morning, but the plane did not take off. The complaint was made by Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Yván Gil, and the Venezuelan Football Federation (FVF).
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“The government of Peru commits a new act of arbitrariness against the Venezuelans by preventing the plane carrying the Venezuelan national team from refueling to take off,” said the chancellor.
The FVF then issued a statement stating at 2:40 pm (Brasília time): “the team remains detained at the airport awaiting authorization to refuel and take off. We demand respect for our team, players, coaching staff and for the restrictive measures to end against our team and against our country,” he said.
The Peruvian Foreign Ministry, in turn, responded to Caracas and denied any action by the Peruvian government to prevent the aircraft from leaving the country. Through social media, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the existence of problems related to the plane’s supply, but held the private sector responsible for the retention.
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“The Chancellery regrets the situation that the plane carrying the Venezuelan team is going through and informs that the Peruvian government has not issued any measure prohibiting the refueling of the aircraft. (…) The aircraft has been experiencing supply restrictions of a commercial nature private, outside the will of the Peruvian State”, he said. The Ministry, however, said that it is “taking steps to resolve this situation as soon as possible.”
This is not the first time that Venezuelan vessels or aircraft have been detained or prevented from taking off in other countries. Although it is not clear in the Peruvian case, it is common for sanctions imposed by the US against Venezuela to discourage other companies or governments from doing business with Venezuelan companies for fear of being sanctioned.
In June last year, a Venezuelan cargo plane from the company Emtrasur, a subsidiary of Venezuela’s state airline, was stranded at Ezeiza airport, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
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The case gained worldwide repercussion after the US requested the seizure of the aircraft after accusing the crew of being linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, a division of the Iranian Armed Forces that is unilaterally considered by Washington as a “terrorist organization”.
The crew was also prevented from leaving Argentina while the country’s authorities, together with Americans, carried out investigations. The crew were only able to leave the country in September 2022, but the plane remains blocked in Ezeiza.
Editing: Leandro Melito