Brawl breaks out during rugby game
A Turkish player (C) tries to intervene as an Azerbaijan player (L) and a Turkish supporter fight during a European Nations Cup match. AA photoA European Nations Cup rugby game between Turkey and Azerbaijan was abandoned after a fight erupted between the two teams’ players on Nov. 17.
Turkey was leading the game, which was being played in the Kemer district of Antalya, 53-3 before the brouhaha broke out. Some Azerbaijani players also entered the stands to attack some fans, Anatolia news agency reported.
Turkey was awarded the win by the referees.
Turkey is leading the European Nations Cup third-division ahead of Azerbaijan and Slovakia and could be promoted to the second division by the end of the tournament.
“That was crazy,” Turkey’s Irish coach, Niall Doherty, said about the incidents. “I don’t think Azerbaijan players were interested in playing rugby. I am proud of my players, they are a well-disciplined group.”
Turkey is not a country with a long history of rugby, but Doherty said the national team has “a bright future.”
“We have many quality players from Turkey, as well as players with Turkish roots from England, Germany and France,” Doherty said. “We believe that we will do well in the future.”