Sunday 18 March 2018

Riot police restore order as anthem antics spark melee

SOUTH America's biggest club football competition ended on Wednesday night in suitably anarchic fashion, with the losing team forced to get a police escort as they collected their runners-up medals.

The second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between Brazil's Internacional and Chivas Guadalajara of Mexico saw the Brazilians triumph 5-3 on their home patch in Porto Alegre. But it was events before and after the game which earned most of the headlines.

Chivas midfielder Adolfo 'Bofo' Bautista claimed that the Mexican national anthem wasn't treated with enough respect by the band who played it and, in response, decided to warm up as the Brazilian anthem was aired.

The game itself was relatively incident-free but as the final whistle blew, dozens of jubilant fans ran onto the pitch to celebrate Inter's win, with one of them punching Chivas striker Marco Fabian.

Furious Chivas players became embroiled in the row as Bautista apparently began using a pair of crutches as a weapon.

Riot police had to be brought in to restore order.

It wouldn't happen in the Champions League of course, but with that competition having turned into a sterile shadow of its former self, maybe next year you should tune into its South American equivalent for proper entertainment.

Irish Independent

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