A top-flight clash in Colombia was abandoned after 1,400 fans invaded the pitch and attacked players and coaching staff.
Deportivo Cali’s trip to Cortulua on Wednesday descended into chaos in the 81st minute of play when a large group of fans poured out onto the pitch at the Estadio Doce de Octubre.
Supporters – most of whom were said to be Deportivo Cali fans – began verbally and physically abusing players and staff.
While some players were able to flee to safety, others were not so lucky as they couldn’t get off the pitch in time.
The Sun reported that Deportivo Cali striker Teofilo Gutierrez was ‘kicked and punched’ by his own supporters.
Manager, Mayer Candelo was also said to be injured during the attacks, with a video showing him being escorted away by security – who along with police – struggled to deal with the pitch invaders.
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.
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.’
Cortulua meanwhile released their own statement in which they stated they had identified the fans who entered the pitch during the game which they will make available to local authorities.
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.’
The match was classed a 2-0 defeat for Deportivo Cali, who are bottom of the Categoria Primera A table – with just eight points in 13 matches.
It sparks a huge contrast to the 2021 season where Deportivo Cali won their tenth title.