Team brawl blows whistle on fixture

It was set up in the sprit of fostering good relations between different cultures and ethnic groups.But the harmony between players for Lowestoft International football club was shattered in spectacular fashion when their latest match was abandoned after teammates traded punches.

It was set up in the sprit of fostering good relations between different cultures and ethnic groups.

But the harmony between players for Lowestoft International football club was shattered in spectacular fashion when their latest match was abandoned after teammates traded punches.

Such was the severity of the fighting in the game against CDs Waveney Reserves, the referee was helped by a senior colleague officiating in a

game on a neighbouring pitch and police were called in to calm the situation.

Last night, as details of the brawl emerged, an official for the Suffolk Football Association confirmed

an investigation had been launched following Saturday's fixture

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at the Denes High School, in

Lowestoft.

Lowestoft International FC was formed in 2003 to bring together Portuguese, African, Iraqi and British players who live and work in the

town.

They took part in friendly matches

as part of the Action against Racism

in Football events and proved

such a success they entered the Notleys Lowestoft and District

League for the first time last

season.

It is understood Saturday's fracas was sparked at the start of the second half, with Lowestoft International trailing 4-0 in the division three match.

As frustrations boiled over, two teammates became involved in a heated exchange and punches were soon being traded.

Matters deteriorated and three other players became involved and the match officials had no choice but to abandon the game.

As the arguments continued off the field, police were called in to take control.

Suffolk police spokeswoman Anne-Marie Breach said: "We were called to the playing field at 3.20pm to reports of an altercation and that the match had been abandoned.

"Officers attended and spoke to players and the referee.

"There were no signs of anyone with injuries or damage and no

reports were forthcoming at the

time, so there was no further

police action to be taken," she

added

While the players involved in the fighting have escaped police action, they may yet incur the wrath of officials at the Suffolk FA.

Chairman David Porter said: "I can confirm there was a fracas

involving members from the same team.

"The match was abandoned by

the young referee who was in

charge of the game and he was helped by a more senior referee who was officiating at a match on an adjoining pitch.

"Suffolk FA has received reports from both referees and will be

dealing with the matter as part of its disciplinary procedure," Mr Porter added.

No-one from Lowestoft International FC was available for comment.