Players clash in soccer encounter

BANGKOK - Soccer players from Thailand and Mexico clashed three times at the end of a World University Games soccer match.

BANGKOK - Soccer players from Thailand and Mexico clashed three times at the end of a World University Games soccer match.

Not to be left out officials and spectators joined in and police had to be called to restore order.

Four players were eventually sent off from the match, which Thailand won 1-0 on Monday to qualify for the semifinals.

Yesterday, Games officials and the International University Sports Federation considered whether sanctions will be taken against both teams. Thailand team officials later apologised for the melee.

Anon Sangsanoi scored the winning goal for Thailand in the 74th minute, but the problems began four minutes into stoppage time when Mexico midfielder Marco Valverde and Thai goalkeeper Umarin Yaodam clashed as they both went for the ball, and Umarin was left with a bloody lip.

Canadian referee Paul Ward sent both players off the pitch at Supachalasai National Stadium.

But ensuing fighting from both teams spread to the stands, where spectators threw water bottles on to the field and security guards were called in.

When play resumed, Ward sent off two more players - Wisarut Pannasri of Thailand and Mexico's Daniel Rojas - but that only settled the situation until the final whistle.

Then, both sides began fighting again, police intervened and order was restored after about 10 minutes. No players from either side were seriously injured.

Thailand team co-manager Juta Tingspat said: "We owe an apology to the Thai people." - Sapa-AP

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