UK & World News

  • 13 December 2012, 14:08

Brazil: Team Quits Final Over 'Gun Threat'

The final of South America's second biggest football competition was abandoned after the away team claimed they were beaten and had guns pulled on them at half-time.

Brazil's Sao Paulo were awarded the Copa Sudamericana after their Argentinian opponents refused to play the second half of the final's second leg, claiming the players feared for their safety.

There were ugly scenes as players fought while leaving the pitch at the end of first half, with the Brazilian side leading 2-0 in front of their home fans.

Things apparently got worse for Tigre during the break, with coaches claiming security personnel entered the changing room and attacked their players with clubs.

Tigre manager Nestor Gorosito briefly returned to the pitch and, referring to unspecified security officials, told reporters: "They pulled two revolvers. We're not going to play any more".

While it was unclear what happened in the changing room, Argentine television showed what appeared to be blood stains spattered on walls.

After the break, referee Enrique Osses of Chile awarded the trophy - South America's equivalent of the Europa League - to Sao Paulo after waiting around 30 minutes for Tigre to retake the field.

"Police entered and struck our players with sticks," Gorosito told Argentine television. "It was crazy. What happened was crazy."

Romer Osuna, a Bolivian official with Conmebol, South America's governing body of football, said Tigre players were afraid to carry on with the game.

"The Tigre people declined to play because they considered security was not good enough," Osuna told Fox Sports.

Fans at the 72,000 capacity Morumbi stadium celebrated Sao Paulo's first Copa Sudamericana win as if the violence had never happened, but the incident may raise questions about Brazil's ability to host the 2014 World Cup.

 

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