Two Weeks After Racism Claims, Palmeiras and Peñarol Brawled After Copa Libertadores Match

Lead Photo: Art by Itzel Martinez for Remezcla
Art by Itzel Martinez for Remezcla
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By the looks of it, no one will be happier to see the end of the Palmeiras-Peñarol matches in this year’s Copa Libertadores than CONMEBOL. Two weeks after Felipe Melo accused Peñarol player Gaston Rodriguez of racism, the two teams brawled following Palmeiras’ 3-2 victory in Uruguay, with Melo once again in the center of it.

The trouble started at the final whistle, when Melo and Palmeiras goalkeeper Fernando Prass were confronted by a handful of Peñarol players in an altercation that saw all players involved exchange punches. The violence also spilled over from the field and into the stands, as supporters from both sides faced off, with projectiles being thrown and bodies clashing throughout the Estadio Campeon del Siglo in Montevideo.

Melo had said, following the April 12th matchup where he felt he was the target of racial abuse, that he would not hold back from slapping someone in the following showdown between the two clubs. By the looks of it, not only did he keep his word, but he even escalated with some closed fist punches that might land him some disciplinary action from CONMEBOL.

According to Palmeiras coach Eduardo Baptista, the situation escalated when his team attempted to leave the field, as the tunnel to the locker rooms was closed and security guards were not allowing the players to pass. “Our own security got us off the field and stopped something worse happening,” said Baptista after the match. ‘It’s lamentable. Premeditated the way it was, it could have been much worse.”