Hostile mob greets Socceroos in Uruguay

Uruguayan officials have apologised to the Australian government after a mob confronted the Australia team on their arrival in…

Uruguayan officials have apologised to the Australian government after a mob confronted the Australia team on their arrival in Montevideo to prepare for the second leg of their World Cup playoff.

Uruguay's Ambassador to Australia, Pablo Sader, told Australian radio his country deeply regretted the incident.

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer was told the Uruguayan officials had promised to increase security.

He said Australia's ambassador to Argentina and two embassy staff had been ordered to travel to Montevideo to discuss the security issue with the Uruguayan authorities.

An angry mob of about 50 supporters jostled and abused the Australian team as they tried to exit the airport and board their team bus.

It has been reported that at least one player was punched and a number of other players and officials were spat on as they made their way out of the airport terminal.

Australian coach Frank Farina, shown on Australian television wiping spit from his face, said he was disgusted by the incident. Australia beat Uruguay 1-0 in the first leg of the playoff in Melbourne to take a precious lead into Sunday's return leg. The eventual winner goes to next year's World Cup finals in South Korea and Japan.

- AFP

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