Fifty people were hurt in fighting which broke out after the British referee stopped the European Cup semi-final soccer match in Vienna, May 4, between Benfica of Lisbon and Rapid of Vienna.
Fifty people were hurt in fighting which broke out after the British referee stopped the European Cup semi-final soccer match in Vienna, May 4, between Benfica of Lisbon and Rapid of Vienna. There was still one minute to play, and the scores were level at one goal each.
Mr. Reg Leafe, the referee, said he stopped the game because it "ceased to be a football match" in the last 15 minutes. "It was a free-for-all", he said. Fighting between players broke all over the field just two minutes from the final whistle when a Rapid player, brought down in a tackle, jumped to his feet and knocked down a Portuguese player. Angry spectators swarmed on to the pitch, completely overwhelming police cordons.
The Portuguese players fought their way off the pitch as the crowd started to smash windows and destroy everything within reach. Forty minutes later, they were smuggled out to their coach and driven off. Mr. Leafe, on the other hand, was besieged in his dressing room for two hours before police finally dispersed a crowd of five thousand and escorted him to his hotel.
Benfica, who won the first leg by three goals to nil, play Barcelona in the final at Berne on May 30 subject to verification of this result by the International Soccer Federation.