4 Aug 2009

Women's football match ends in mass brawl

3:39 pm on 4 August 2009

An ill-tempered women's under-19 match between China and Australia has ended in a mass brawl and accusations of cheating.

It's another blow for the reputation of Chinese football two weeks after a referee was attacked by players in a men's inter-provincial tournament, resulting in one player being banned for life.

China won the Asian under-19s championship match 2-1, holding on for victory despite a late appeal for a penalty from the Australians, who were aghast to see the referee award a free kick outside the box.

China coach Gao Rongming blamed his team's inexperience for their part in the incidents but Australia's Alen Stajcic says the match was an embarrassment for the hosts.