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Felipe Melo punches opponent as 30 fans are arrested and 18 police officers injured in Copa Libertadores clash

THE COPA LIBERTADORES clash between Penarol and Palmeiras descended into a chaotic on-field brawl as 30 fans were arrested and 18 police officers were injured.

The violence erupted at full time after the Brazilian visitors had claimed a 3-2 victory over their Uruguayan hosts on Wednesday.

Palmeiras' Brazilian star Felipe Melo (R) lands a punch on Penarol's Matias Mier
Palmeiras’ Brazilian star Felipe Melo (R) lands a punch on Penarol’s Matias Mier
EPA
Violence also erupted in the stands following the Copa Libertadores clash between Penarol and Palmeiras
Violence also erupted in the stands following the Copa Libertadores clash between Penarol and Palmeiras
Reuters
The angry scenes followed Palmeiras' 3-2 victory in Penarol
The angry scenes followed Palmeiras’ 3-2 victory in Penarol
AP:Associated Press

A number of players, including Felipe Melo, were seen throwing punches while rival supporters fought a fierce battle up in the stands.


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The video shows the chaos that erupted on the pitch following the final whistle as players chased and taunted each while fans also followed suit around the ground in South America.

Uruguay’s Interior Ministry said: “It started on the field, and it seemed incongruous that the players asked the fans not to fight when the fights had already started on the field.”

He added that a firearm was taken from at least one police officer while six police vehicles were also damaged.

Palmeiras boss Eduardo Baptista accused the home side of deliberately preventing his players from leaving the field, sparking the mass fighting.

The Brazilian champions had come from two down at half time to claim victory and almost guarantee their spot in the knockout phases of South America’s version of the Champions League.

Felipe Melo had accused Penarol players of using racist abuse the last time the sides met
Felipe Melo had accused Penarol players of using racist abuse the last time the sides met
Reuters
30 fans were arrested at the clash as 18 police officers were hurt during the violence
30 fans were arrested at the clash as 18 police officers were hurt during the violence
Reuters
Uruguay's Interior Ministry also said a police officer's firearm was taken during the angry clashes
Uruguay’s Interior Ministry also said a police officer’s firearm was taken during the angry clashes
Reuters

Melo had previously accused some of the Penarol players of using racist abuse towards him when the sides met in Sao Paulo and he later warned he would not back down from slapping them when they met again.

Following the melee on Wednesday, he said: “It’s lamentable. Premeditated the way it was it could have been much worse.

Fans also damaged six police vehicles during the Copa Libertadores match
Fans also damaged six police vehicles during the Copa Libertadores match
Reuters
CONMEBOL did not make any immediate comment on the chaos
CONMEBOL did not make any immediate comment on the chaos
AP:Associated Press
Palmeiras goalscorer Willian is congratulated by his team-mate Yerry Mina after scoring against Penarol
Palmeiras goalscorer Willian is congratulated by his team-mate Yerry Mina after scoring against Penarol
AP:Associated Press

“When we tried to leave the field the tunnel was closed and security guards stopped us from leaving. Our own security got us off the field and stopped something worse happening. ”

CONMEBOL did not make any immediate comment on the violent clashes.

Palmeiras currently top their group after collecting 10 points from four matches. Penarol are bottom after picking up just three.

FUENTE:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/3432965/felipe-melo-penarol-palmeiras-copa-libertadores/