World

Mass Brawl Sees 36 Players Sent Off

In a previous post, we talked about emotions getting the best of a player, sometimes leading to some unsavoury scenes.  The offence is often seen by the official but occasionally it’s missed. In the case of the match between Libertad and Teniente Farina, two junior teams in the Paraguay Leagues, there was no way that the referee could miss what happened. After sending two players off for fighting with 5 minutes left in the match, Nestor Guillen thought that he had resolved the problem. However the boys did not want to leave the pitch and continued to fight at which point their fellow teammates joined in. What started as two red cards eventually led to 36 players in total, including both teams and all the substitutes, being sent off and eventually suspended from the league. Guillen, fearing for his own life, fled the pitch as the brawl began along with his other assistants as the two clubs managers and coaching staff tried to stop the fighting.

Teniente Farina club president Hernan Martinez leapt to his club’s defence:

“Many of the players that were on the field and on the bench, everyone went onto the field to try to control their teammates and even the players from the other team. The referees didn’t even stay on the field. As soon as the fighting broke out they went to the dressing room”

Visiting Libertad club president Sixto Nunez also laid the blame firmly at the feet of the fleeing referee and his assistants:

“The referee needed to take better care of the boys. He should have made sure that the two dismissed players were completely off the field. Instead, the officials left the field and when the players were all leaving together that’s when the fighting started again

In our opinion, the referee’s could have done little to prevent this from escalating as it did apart from forcibly remove the players from the field. However the coaching staff should have also been involved in this process and the managers controlled their individual players which would have potentially prevented this from happening. Regardless of this, the Paraguayan Football Association will be investigating this incident and full and expect to hand down firm penalties to both clubs and its players.

To see the brawl, watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mrD4JFX2Sc