Under-age team left in shock after near-riot by Italians
THE manager of an Irish under-age soccer team has expressed outrage after his team were physically attacked on the pitch by a rival Italian side during a pitch invasion in an international tournament in Spain.
Cork side College Corinthians withdrew from the competition after being subjected to a near-riot by a team from Naples.
Irish team officials are still in shock at the scenes in which virtually the entire playing and coaching staff of Italian side Ercolanese stormed on to the pitch and attacked their rivals.
Corinthians were taking part in the tournament in Lloret de Mar, 70km from Barcelona.
The Irish side went into the Ercolanese clash unbeaten after winning their first three games. Minutes into the match, an Italian was sent off.
The second-half had just begun when Corinthians grabbed the lead -- with the goal sparking the near-riot.
Manager Mark Hurley said he had never witnessed anything remotely like it before.
The melee continued until the Spanish police arrived. The match was abandoned.
After the match was abandoned, the Irish panel was informed they had made it to the quarter-finals
"But we took a decision that we would withdraw in the interest of the safety of our kids," he said. Corinthians arrived back in Cork on Monday.