CEBU CITY - The world’s beautiful game turned ugly last Sunday when players and spectators engaged in a free-for-all during an Under-18 game between Alcoy FC and the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu in the 16th Aboitiz Football Cup at the Aboitiz Field.
The incident has readily sparked anger and condemnation, more so after pictures spread on social media sites showing one spectator who appears to be holding a key, striking Alcoy FC goalkeeper Rodenel Binolirao Jr. from behind, bloodying him up in the process.
For pictures of the incident, go to Sun Star Cebu's Facebook page.
In the last development, three players from Alcoy FC are threatening to sue and file child abuse charges against the parents who allegedly attacked them.
Binolirao and a player from the Magis Eagles were on the field wrestling with one another when the ugly incident unfolded. The same picture has that same person threatening to punch another spectator who was trying to break up the commotion.
The brawl has caught the city government's attention with the sport’s governing body, the Cebu Football Association, moving quickly to conduct a massive investigation into the incident.
According to first-hand accounts, SHS-AdC was ahead 3-1 when tensions rose due to trash-talking from both sides. Punches were eventually thrown and skirmishes broke out all over the field, with a player from Alcoy allegedly getting ganged up after he ran towards the Ateneo bench.
The police and Aboitiz security personnel arrived to defuse the incident.
SHS-AdC athletic director Rico Navarro issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon.
“We deeply regret the events that transpired at the football game between SHS-AdC and Alcoy FC. It was something that nobody had wanted to happen and we would review and look into how it could be avoided. We are looking at the personalities involved and would work with the ongoing investigation of the CFA,” he said.