Emotions often boil over in sports, and even more so in games against rivals. But that should never be an excuse to send one of your opponents to the hospital — especially if he is your teammate on the national team.
But that’s what occurred in Ecuador’s version of “el Clasico” between Barcelona and Emelec. After Barca lost the match, goalkeeper Maximo Banguero slapped Emelec captain Pedro Quinonez in the face, causing his national team colleague to convulse and nearly lose consciousness, according to Emelec officials.
Banguero, who walked away from the crime scene as if nothing transpired, quickly tried to save face with an apology after hearing Quinonez needed to stay a night in the hospital.
"I want to apologise sincerely to Pedro Quinonez, his family, the supporters, everyone," Banguera told a news conference late on Monday. "I was a bad loser. I am aware if there is a sanction, I will have to face it."
Barcelona and Emelec both stem from the country’s biggest and most populous city, Guayaquil, and have been at odds with one another for as long as we remember. Sadly, the slap attack is just one of the milder incidents that have marred the derby over the years. In 2006, Barcelona fans caused a massive riot in Emerec’s stadium, leading to 40 injuries and nine arrests. Just a year later, an 11-year-old Emelec fan lost his life after being hit by a flare.