Playing the second leg of the Copa Sudamericana final, Brazil’s Sao Paolo led Argentinian soccer club Tigre 2-0 at halftime. But before the intermission, things got a bit out of control as officials and players from both clubs brawled on the pitch. That’s when 20 Brazilian police officers reportedly intervened, attacking Tigre players in the locker room with sticks and even drawing guns.
“‘They pulled two guns on us, the rest of the match is not going to be played,’ Tigre coach Nestor Gorosito told Fox Sports.
‘They ambushed us and one of them pulled out a revolver and put it against (goalkeeper) Damian Albil’s chest. Their security and police also hit us, there were around 20 of them.’
Argentine media carried photographs of a blood stained dressing room and comments from players saying they were hit with sticks.”
Tigre refused to return to the pitch after halftime, and Sao Paolo was declared the winner of the match and tournament by Conmebol, the South American Football Confederation. The Sao Paolo fans didn’t seem to care about the circumstances of their victory, because they poured onto streets in celebration. Team officials were equally unconcerned and pleased.
“‘They were going to lose by a big score,’ Sao Paulo President Juvenal Juvencio told the club’s website (www.saopaulofc.net). “Our biggest victory is the fact that the Argentines ran away.”
Things began heating up before the match when officials tried to interrupt Tigre’s attempts to warm up. But it wasn’t until halftime that things completely erupted, and it took another three hours for Tigre to even leave the stadium. It was at this point that they went to a Sao Paolo police station to file a complaint – which will probably go nowhere because it was Sao Paolo police officers who drew guns on them in the first place.
On another note: can you imagine the Bob Costas gun control rant this would have spawned had it happened in America? Not to mention that Cris Collinsworth would have totally diagrammed the replay to point out the importance of the tertiary reinforcement officers sprinting up the right flank. Meanwhile, Roger Goodell would have found a way to blame the entire thing on Sean Peyton and Jonathan Vilma, only to have the validity of his imposed sanctions undermined by a former league executive he thought he had in his pocket.
Basically what we’re saying is that it’s a good thing guns and sports don’t mix in America.