A Brazilian state championship game between local rivals Vitoria and Bahia was abandoned after the referee issued 10 red cards and eight yellow cards to players.
The match had been dubbed in the Brazilian press before kick off as the ‘Peace Derby’ as it was the first time in six meetings between the two sides that both teams’ supporters were allowed into the stadium.
Violence and dismissals have not been uncommon in recent derbies, and it was predicted to be a volatile affair, but few predicted it to end in the manner it did.
By halftime, the match was going the way most had predicted.
It was a scrappy and physical encounter that had seen six yellow cards issued by referee Jailson Macedo de Freitas and home side Vitoria take the lead through a Denilson goal.
However, it wasn’t until the second half that chaos erupted when Bahia’s Vinicius crudely celebrated scoring an equaliser from the penalty spot.
Fernando Miguel, the Vitoria goalkeeper, reacted to the celebrations and a mass brawl broke out between the two sides.
Following a fifteen minute delay to restore order, referee Macedo de Freitas issued red cards to eight players – five from Bahia and three from Vitoria.
Three of the five Bahia players sent off were substitutes, dismissed for their involvement in the fight despite not being part of the playing 11 at the time.
The match continued with the significantly reduced numbers until the 79th minute when Vitoria’s Uilian was red carded.
Immediately after teammate Bruno Bispo kicked the ball away, and was given a second yellow card and dismissed.
With Vitoria down to six players at that point, below the required seven, the match was abandoned in accordance with footballing regulations.
Standard practice would likely see Bahia awarded a 3-0 win due to the abandonment, despite having had five of their own players sent off – having not been penalised themselves due to three of their dismissed players not being part of the playing 11.
Brazil’s sporting court will now decide what action is taken over the indiscipline, and make a final decision on the result.