In the final two minutes of a South American Club Championship soccer match in Buenos Aires yesterday (Wednesday.
In the final two minutes of a South American Club Championship soccer match in Buenos Aires yesterday (Wednesday. March 17), 19 of the 22 players participating in the Boca Juniors (Argentina) vs. Sporting Cristal (Peru) match were sent off after a free-for-all fight broke out on the pitch. Standing at a score of 2-2, Boca's Cabrera got the ball and made a run for the Sporting goal, within the penalty area Sporting's Defender Fernando Mellan fell to the ground and was kicked in the head by Boca Forward Angel Rojas, and the fighting began. Today (Thursday) the nineteen men sent off during the fighting were sentenced to 30 days in jail - then pardoned "in order not to impair Argentine-Peruvian relations". Hospitalized were Mellan with severe concussion, Boca Captain Ruben Sune with seven stitches in a cut forehead, and Sporting Captain Eloy Campos with bruises and a cut lip. Unhurt and unpunished were three players who had managed to keep out of the fracas - both goalkeepers and Boca defender Julio Melendez who, as a native Peruvian playing for the argentine team, refused to take sides in the battle.
Argentine soccer has along history of on-field violence, particularly in international matches, but this is the worst such incident since the 1969 World Club Championship playoff between Milan of Italy and Estudiantes of Argentina on this same field.
This film taken in Argentina yesterday was flown to Peru from where it was relayed today by Satellite to Madrid on the newly-instituted news exchange between the two Continents.