Red faces as wrong anthem played before Copa America match

Sun Jun 5, 2016 10:13pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Copa America organisers were left red-faced on Sunday after playing the wrong national anthem for Uruguay before their match against Mexico in Arizona.

The Uruguay players lined up on the pitch for their anthem, "Orientales, la Patria o la Tumba", ahead of their tournament opener but were greeted instead by the national anthem of Chile at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

Most of the Uruguay players were expressionless at first, before their poker faces gave way to some looks of bemusement.

Organisers quickly sent out an apology.

"We sincerely apologize to the Uruguayan Federation, the Uruguay National Team, the people of Uruguay and to the fans for this mistake. We will work with all parties involved to ensure such an error does not occur again," the statement said.

The mistake capped off an ignominious opening weekend to the tournament, which the United States is hosting for the first time, with few goals, some mediocre games and, in some cases, sparse crowds.

Uruguay's day did not get better as they were beaten 3-1 by the Mexicans.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)

Jun 5, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Mexico midfielder Hector Herrera (16) makes a run against Uruguay midfielder Egidio Arevalo (17) during the first half during the group play stage of the 2016 Copa America Centenario at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports