Brazil nuts! Copa Sudamericana ends in chaos as final is abandoned after 'security guards pull guns and beat up players'
09:54 GMT, 13 December 2012
The image of Brazilian football in the lead up to the 2014 World Cup was seriously tarnished when the final of the Copa Sudamericana was abandoned as visiting club Tigre accused security officials of pulling guns on them and beating the players.
After a goalless first leg in Argentina, Sao Paulo took a 2-0 lead on home turf with goals from Lucas Moura and Osvaldo.
But things took a sour turn at half-time as fighting broke out between the players as they made their way off the pitch.
All over: The referee abandoned the match between Tigre and Sao Paulo
Scrap: Sao Paulo (in white) and Tigre ended up fighting before the referee called time on the clash
Tigre then refused to return for the second half, claiming their players had been attacked by security guards in the dressing rooms.
Chilean referee Enrique Osses abandoned the match after a 30-minute delay, awarding the victory to Sao Paulo, who were then presented with the trophy in a formal ceremony.
Tigre coach Nestor Gorosito claimed armed security officers had beaten his players and pointed guns at them during half-time. He said goalkeeper Damian Albil had a gun pointed at his chest.
'During the break, a big guy came in
with a gun,' he said on Fox Sports. 'Some policeman started to hit some
of my players. We tried to defend ourselves. They pulled two revolvers.
We’re not going to play anymore.
'My players fought with the security
people for 15 minutes. Then the police arrived and the incidents
continued. What happened is disgraceful. There are several players hurt, but none serious.'
Crossbar challenge: Fans managed to get on to the pitch after Sao Paulo won the Copa Sudamericana
Gorosito also complained about the treatment his team had received throughout their preparations for the match.
trained two hours away from our hotel, and it took us more than an hour
to get to the stadium,' he said. 'We were unable to warm up on the
Tigre president Sergio Massa said
Wednesday was one of the most shameful days in Brazilian football
history and urged the Argentinian Football Federation (AFA) to take
Massa told the AFA official website: 'We need to show the people everything that happened, the assaults and injuries.
'When we went into the dressing room after the first half, there were 15 security people that were hitting the players. They struck us.
'For Tigre today was an historic day. The referee told us he was going to suspend the game and ended up doing that. It was all a mess, football should be a celebration.'
Tigre security chief Ruben Pasquini said in La Nacion newspaper: 'It was an ambush. They were waiting for us. (Midfielder Ruben) Botta has an injured eye. They put a gun in the chest of Albil. (Midfielder) Gaston Diaz was also hurt.'
Solid back four: Police stand outside the dressing rooms after the Copa Sudamericana final was abandoned
You're not coming on: Security guards line the pitch as the officials make their way off
Referee Osses said: 'We did not see anything, but we have heard some things about what happened.
'We saw there were some injuries to the Tigre players but I don't know what caused them.'
CONMEBOL official Romer Osuna said: 'The referee abandoned the game because it was not right to play on.
'This decision is final. It is a shame that a continental final finished in this fashion.'
The city of Sao Paulo is one of the
host venues for the 2014 World Cup, although matches will be played at
Corinthians' Arena de Sao Paulo and not the Morumbi.
Massa felt the incidents had cast a shadow over Brazilian football.
Explosive: Sao Paulo supporters celebrated as fireworks lit up the sky
'It's one of the most shameful pages in Brazilian football. We came to play a game of football, not a war,' he said. 'All this makes us very sad.
'We don't want to win or lose a game in the offices but the AFA are going to have to make a strong protest.'
Sao Paulo had dominated the first half with Lucas, playing his final match before joining Paris St Germain, at the heart of everything.
He scored the opener in the 23rd minute, pouncing on the ball to fire home after Willian Jose's progress towards goal had been blocked.
Lucas turned provider for the second, playing a fine ball for Osvaldo to run through and lift the ball over Damian Albil.
Cop that: Police officers patrol the pitch after Tigre players refused to be play on and the match was called off
However, Lucas had also been on the receiving end of several tough challenges, with one elbow to the face drawing blood.
Sao Paulo goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni, who had handed Lucas the captain's armband at the end to allow the departing star to lift the trophy, was shocked by the way the match ended, but claimed the Tigre players had been overly aggressive on the pitch.
'We don't know what happened, but the Tigre players came to Brazil to fight, not to play,' he said. 'I really don't know what happened in the dressing rooms.'
Capture the moment: The Sao Paulo players pose for pictures after their controversial triumph