Gremio seek Conmebol action over brawl

Rio de Janeiro, April 20 (IANS) Gremio will request a Conmebol probe into the alleged physical assault of their football coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo during a wild post-match brawl.

Players, officials and fans were involved in the melee, which followed the Brazilian club’s 1-1 draw against Huachipato in their Copa Libertadores group match in the Chilean city of Talcahuano Thursday, reports Xinhua.

Pursued by the home team’s players and officials after a verbal exchange with rival coach Jorge Pellicer, Luxemburgo slipped to the ground as he ran to the dressing room.

“Instead of protecting me, the police decided not to do anything,” the former Real Madrid and Brazil coach said.

“Everything that happened was premeditated. I didn’t do anything that warrants this. It was unfortunate that I fell. I was lying on the ground and there was a player who physically assaulted me.”

Huachipato coach Jorge Pellicer said Luxemburgo had provoked the confrontation.

“He tried to make fun of us. That’s unsporting conduct. He said we should go on holiday, making a gesture with his hand.”

Conmebol, South American football’s governing body, declined to comment on the incident Friday.

But Gremio’s football director Rui Costa said the club would request an immediate investigation.

“We have to take the necessary action,” Costa said. “We were very well received by the club but unfortunately two or the three people, including the coach, acted in a way that is unacceptable.

“We are going to analyse everything because we can’t allow things like this to happen.”

The result was enough to secure Gremio’s passage to the tournament’s knockout phase while Huachipato were eliminated on goal difference.

Luxemburgo’s team will meet Colombia’s Independiente de Santa Fe in the round of 16 with the first match at their Arena do Gremio in Porto Alegre May 1.

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