We use the “REASONS TO HATE SOCCER” tag pretty liberally at With Leather, but this has been one of the worst-ever weeks to be a soccer fan. The embarrassment ranges from flopping shame all the way up to fans slicing open their own players’ heads with beer bottles, so it’s only fitting that Friday would feature the crown jewel of any depressing soccer week: the stadium-wide riot.
Here’s the gist: Gremio played Huachipato in a Copa Libertadores group stage match and tied up 1-1. Not something you’d think would cause a bunch of macho posturing, right? Well, apparently Gremio manager Vanderlei Luxemburgo started laughing at/antagonizing/making snide remarks to Huachipato manager Jorge Pellicier. The Huachipato players decide to kick his ass, but Luxemburgo thinks he’s in the clear and jogs away with a smile on his face. He runs into a bunch of riot cops, however, and with nowhere to go just kinda falls down and receives stage 1 of a riot ass-whomping. That causes every fan, player and ball boy within a mile radius to charge in and start fighting and it was all extremely necessary.
“None of this was necessary,” Luxemburgo said.
“I was talking to the officiating crew after the match and someone from their team came to me to complain.
“Then I saw their coach coming after me and I started trying to get away because I didn’t want to get involved in anything. I was stepped on and one of their players hit me.” (via AP)
The opposing coach’s perspective:
Pellicier, however, disputed that version of events when quoted by the Chilean daily El Mercurio’s website (www.emol.com): “He tried to make fun of us… That’s unsporting conduct. He said we should go on holiday, making a gesture with his hand.” (via Reuters)
I really hope “you should go on a holiday” is the South American equivalent to “go f**k yourself,” and that the hand gesture was at least hilarious enough to earn a stomping.
Next week, let’s try to keep the soccer news to charity events and cheesecake photo shoots, okay, everybody?
[h/t to Brooks Peck]