South American Football - Argentine U17s spark fight after 3-3 draw with Uruguay

The bitter rivalry between Argentina and Uruguay turned violent when an under-17 clash between the south American heavyweights ended in an ugly brawl.

Reuters
South American Football - Argentine U17s spark fight after 3-3 draw with Uruguay
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0418 Golazo de chilena de Driussi (Argentina Sub-17)

Nine-man Argentina's provocative celebrations after salvaging a 3-3 draw in the South American under-17 championship on Wednesday sparked a clash that was replayed on the website of sports daily Ole.

Argentina coach Humberto Grondona, son of Argentine FA president Julio Grondona, hardly defused the situation when he told reporters: "I prefer to win the World Cup and not the fair play (award)."

Video footage showed police trying to separate fighting players after the final whistle in San Luis.

La Nacion said on its sports website: "Fair Play which has historically characterised (Argentina's) juniors was stained."

Uruguay came from 2-0 down against the hosts to lead 3-2 in a game which was a qualifier for the Under-17 World Championship in the United Arab Emirates this year.

Despite having two players sent off Argentina scrambled a headed equaliser three minutes from time, sparking wild celebrations on the bench.

"It's not good what happened but at least they are hot blooded and that's good," Grondona said.

"With the Uruguayans there's a great rivalry in this category. They've been playing each other since they were 15."

Uruguay's coach Fabian Coito said he could understand the young Argentines going overboard in their euphoria after saving what seemed a lost cause but he criticised a member of the home team's coaching staff.

"I can understand the kids, they're 16 and we can't crucify them, but the problem is when the provocation comes from outside (the pitch), from the adults," he said.

"A bald-headed guy from the coaching staff insulted one of the kids and spent his time provoking."

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