31
Jul

U-20 Mexico/Northern Ireland match ends in violent brawl

A tournament match-up between Mexico and Northern Ireland Under-20s turned very, very ugly on Wednesday.

The teams were facing off in Northern Ireland in the Milk Cup, an annual week-long international youth tournament, when the game devolved into full-team brawls. Twice.

The fighting started in the 57th minute, and deteriorated into violence with three players getting red cards.

The brawling started again with three or four minutes left on the clock and resulted in one Mexican player aiming a kick at the head of a Northern Ireland player.

The referee opted to blow the final whistle when order was finally restored.

In total, three Mexican players and one from Northern Ireland were sent-off for fighting during the match and all four were later suspended by the tournament organizers.

On Thursday, Mexican FA issued an apology for the team’s behavior, while Northern Ireland team manager Stephen Craigan said Mexico shouldn’t be invited back to the tournament. He’s got a point:

"It was not nice. There were young kids here from around the world. They were here to watch a football match, they do not expect to see that. Mexico did it last year, they had a man sent-off for punching. They have a history of it. I have to be careful what I say, but I would like to think Mexico will not be back at the Milk Cup."

Northern Ireland came out of the melee with a 2-1 win, and will win the tournament if they beat their final opponent, Canada.

(h/t BBC Sport)