RIO DE JANEIRO - Police in the northern
Brazilian state of Rondonia are being investigated for excessive
use of force in dealing with two football players who refused to
leave the pitch after being sent off.
"The military police of the state of Rondonia has already
initiated an internal investigation into possible irregularities
committed in that incident," police spokesman Lenilson Guedes
told Reuters on Friday.
"We have already asked for local TV footage so we can
analyse the images."
During the second half of a Rondoniense (state) championship
match at the Aluizio Ferreira stadium in Porto Velho last
weekend, officers resorted to pepper spray to try to get the
dismissed players off the pitch, sparking a free-for-all.
The dismissals occurred in the 64th minute when Genus, who
played in last year's Brazilian championship fourth-tier Serie
D, were losing 3-0 to Moto Esporte Clube in one of the country's
minor state championships.
"The players refused to go off (and) insulted the referee so
he called the police who were on duty in the stadium to
guarantee security (for the match officials)," Guedes said.
"Players are believed to have sworn at the police officers
and one sprayed them."
Guedes explained the procedure the officers should have
followed but appear to have been ignored.
In such incidents "the first approach must be oral,
'citizen, kindly leave the place', then they can be escorted out
by the arm, the third stage would be to use a truncheon and the
fourth the spray.
"This officer passed directly to the spray," said Guedes.
The Rondonia Football Federation said on its website that it had ruled the remaining minutes of the
match would not be played and the result would stand.
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