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Football match descends into chaos as 1400 fans invade pitch and players attacked

Mirror logo Mirror 22/09/2022 Kieran King

A football game in Colombia descended into chaos after over 1000 fans invaded a pitch and attacked the players in the meantime.

Deportivo Cali's trip to Cortulua on Wednesday was abandoned in the 81st minute of play when a large group of fans poured out onto the pitch at the Estadio Doce de Octubre. The supporters, most of whom were said to be Deportivo Cali fans, began verbally and physically abusing players and staff.

Although some players were able to get off the pitch safely, others didn't manage to get off the pitch in time. The Sun reported that Deportivo Cali striker Teofilo Gutierrez was 'kicked and punched' by his own supporters.

Deportivo Cali were facing Cortulua in Colombia © RAUL PALACIOS/EL PAIS/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock Deportivo Cali were facing Cortulua in Colombia

Meanwhile, manager, Mayer Candelo, was also said to be injured during the attacks, with a video showing him being escorted away by security. Police also struggled to deal with pitch invaders as around 1400 people burst onto the pitch, to the surprise of most of the players.

Deportivo Cali have since released an official statement to request that the local authorities intervene to prevent a similar incident from happening again in the future. They also added the club does not condemn any violent action against their players, especially from their own fans.

Deportivo Cali's game at Cortulua was abandoned © Courtulua's Press Office/AFP via Deportivo Cali's game at Cortulua was abandoned

The statement read: "The Cali Sports Association, Executive Committee, President Luis Fernando Mena, Professional Staff, Officials and employees emphatically reject the aggression, harassment and violence suffered by our team during the match against Cortulua.

"It clearly condemns any violent act against our players and coaching staff. We respectfully ask the government and sports authorities to intervene to avoid a tragedy in the future that mourns our sport."

The game was abandoned in the 81st minute © AFP via Getty Images The game was abandoned in the 81st minute

Colombian player Nicholas Benedetti, a former player of Deportivo Cali who now plays for Mexican side Mazatlan, also condemned the attacks. In a post retweeted by the Colombian side, Benedetti said: "VIOLENCE is never the way and will never be justified.

"No one goes out wanting to lose a game or hurt the institution. There are many ways to express yourself and make people feel when things are not going well, but never disrespect people or their physical integrity."

In the game, the home side opened the scoring 20 minutes into the game courtesy of a strike from Wilder Guisao, before Feiver Mercado doubled their advantage with a penalty. The match was abandoned with just under 10 minutes to go.

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