Chilean derby abandoned after player struck by object

(Reuters) - The Santiago derby between arch-rivals Universidad de Chile and Universidad Catolica was abandoned after an hour when a player was hit by an object thrown from the crowd.

Universidad Catolica's Fernando Meneses was struck on the back in Sunday's match as he went to take a corner in front a section occupied by Universidad de Chile fans at Santiago's Estadio Nacional.

Meneses fell to the ground and was taken off on a stretcher surrounded by angry opponents, who appeared to suggest he was play-acting, leading to scuffles and arguments between the teams.

After a five minute delay, referee Enrique Osses abandoned the match with Catolica leading 1-0.

"The player was attacked on the stretcher and that is unacceptable," Catolica president Jaime Estevez told the website of Chilean newspaper La Tercera.

Meneses was taken to hospital and media reports said he was later discharged. The Chilean league was due to meet on Monday to decide what measures should be taken.

Universidad de Chile, the home team, later wished Meneses a speedy recovery.

"Universidad de Chile energetically condemns the throwing of objects onto the field which took place today... as well as any conduct which hinders the progress of the sporting spectacle," the club said.

(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by John O'Brien)

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