It's a well known fact that Italians are hot-blooded, but Sicilian players took that generality to a whole new level in an unsavoury tunnel scrap during a Serie D derby between Paterno and Vittoria.
In footage published by 101greatgoals.com, we can observe in mocking horror as a small scuffle between two or three players degenerates into a full-blown rugby-esque brawl.
In fact, it is no surprise to learn that the feisty encounter between the two teams had (just before the 'scuffle' broke out) been "prematurely terminated" by match officials due to the succession of red cards he had been forced to hand out like hot cakes.
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Although the footage does, at first glance, appear just a tad comical, the scuffle did in fact result in pretty serious injury. In particular, one Paterno player was left prone on the ground in the melee and had to be rushed to hospital.
Unfortunately for him, his participation in the scuffle left him with some pretty hefty damage as he suffered cracked ribs. Maybe next time he contemplates engaging in some off-field sparring, he'll stop and think ver hard again...
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However, rest assured the culprits were duly punished by the Italian FA for their unruly conduct. A total of 59 match suspensions were eventually handed out; 36 for Vittoria and 23 for Paterno, after the Italian FA managed to identify the offenders, and their relative involvement from the tape.
Premier League scuffles
In equal measure, English soil is no stranger to its fair share of off-field scuffles. Bad blood and good football often make for compelling off the field incidents and this was very much the case during the intense rivalry-fuelled era of the early 200's which pitted Wenger's Arsenal against Sir Alex Ferguson's Red Devils.
Those of you with a more or less decent memory will remember two pretty hilarious scuffles which involved the two heavy-weights of English football at the time; the infamous 'Pizzagate' scandal and the Keane vs Viera tunnel showdown. In an incident that sent shock-waves across the board, the ill-famed Pizzagate incident took place in 2004 when tensions between United and Arsenal had reached their zenith.
The previous season, Arsenal had done the unthinkable and gone an entire Premier League season unbeaten to cement their place in English football history as the ‘Invincibles’ and as they arrived at Old Trafford they did so looking to extend their unbeaten league run to the magical 50-match mark.
However, things turned downright sour and ugly as, incensed by a string of ‘dubious’ decisions, the Gunners’ streak was halted by a 2-0 loss. This famous loss to their great rivals resulted in an unsavoury fracas that saw scuffles on and off the pitch and Ferguson pelted with food by an unnamed (now widely believed to be then-Gunners youngster Fabregas) Arsenal player.
Another tunnel-based incident (perhaps the inspiration behind the ugly Serie D scuffle) which has been etched into Premier League folklore was the imperious and often bad-blooded rivalry which involved Arsenal and United captains Patrick Viera and Roy Keane. It is an incident which is still to this day watched and re-watched in memory of the 'good old days' when both sides were willing to draw blood for Premier League success.
In a verbal confrontation between the two captains, Roy Keane was apparently incensed that Gary Neville was targeted by Viera because he was thought of as the ‘weak link’ in the all-conquering Manchester United side famed for its mental toughness.
The fiery Irishman pulled no punches in his verbal tirade against Viera, and the incident has come to embody the furious war between the two clubs, beginning when Arsene Wenger took over in north London and added to by the mutual ill-feeling the respective captains had for each other.