The Uruguayan national won on Tuesday afternoon against Venezuela for the 16th date of the South American qualifiers in search of a qualifying place in the Qatar 2022 World Cup. The Venezuelan national team, although away and with no chance of qualifying, played this match with significant support from fans at the stadium that started to live it since the team arrived in the country last Monday.
With tickets for the match practically sold out – approximately 50,000 according to the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) –, the Centenario stadium (an iconic arena for Uruguayan football history) experienced an atmosphere of sky-blue celebration, but with vinotinto tints that were felt with the goal of the Venezuelan Josef Martínez in the 65th minute.
Although the sector of gate 24 of the Centenario's America against the Colombes stands was the one destined for the visiting supporters, Venezuelan fans mixed with the sky-blue fans throughout the stadium, as the increase of Venezuelan residents in Uruguay has been significant in recent years and they had access to tickets through the same means as the local supporters. Thus, there were tints of vinotinto shirts in all the stands of the stadium and banners, including one that read Arriba Venezuela, vamos carajo, Maduro CDTM (Go Venezuela, Maduro CDTM) referring to a strong and offensive expression typical of the Venezuelan repertoire of insults that is unknown to the Uruguayans.
In fact, of the 6,040,290 Venezuelans who have emigrated, 16.6 thousand have chosen Uruguay as their host country, according to data from Uruguay's National Directorate of Migration collected by the Venezuelan migration monitor, R4V. This justifies the hundreds of Venezuelan fans present at the stadium in Montevideo.
In recent years, Venezuelans have become the second nationality with the largest presence in the national territory. Of the 46,442 foreigners working in Uruguay, according to data from the Banco de Previsión Social (BPS), 18% are Venezuelans, behind only Argentines (35%) and ahead of Cubans (11%) and Brazilians (10%).
According to data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) collected in the latest edition of the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) conducted in Uruguay, 15% of Venezuelans residing in Uruguay reported having suffered some type of discrimination. This number is one of the lowest in the region compared to the almost 30% reported by the same study in Peru or Colombia (40%), countries that have received a large part of the migratory exodus in recent years and where there is a high level of irregular migration due to the lack of access to legal channels for migratory regularization, resulting in difficulties in accessing a stable job or basic services.