1 Jun 2009

Brawling leads to utter chaos in regional Brazilian football final

11:49 am on 1 June 2009

The final of a Brazilian regional football tournament ended in chaos when the match was abandoned because one team was left with six players and both sides completed laps of honour, claiming to have won the title.

The Espirito Santo state championship match between Rio Branco and Sao Mateus had six players sent off and was twice interrupted by punch-ups, the second of which halted play for 25 minutes.

Shortly after the two brawls, one of which involved players, substitutes and officials from both teams, Sao Mateus scored twice, evaporating Rio Branco's 2-0 lead.

Then two Rio Branco players went off injured in quick succession, leaving the team with six, below the minimum number.

After the game was stopped, both teams completed a lap of honour while fighting broke out in the 5,000-strong crowd.

Brazil's disciplinary tribunal says it will investigate the possibility that Rio Branco's players had feigned injury to get the game abandoned.