Brawling team kicked out of soccer finals
San Antonio and Santa Fe received harsh punishments for their bench-clearing brawl on Tuesday during the semifinals of the Lake Tahoe Soccer League playoffs.
League president Martin Jimenez said both teams have been kicked out of the playoffs and players on both teams have been suspended for four games. The fall season begins in early August.
According to Jimenez, San Antonio will be fined an undisclosed amount of money for its actions. In addition to the team penalties, Santa Fe player Victor Vazquez has been suspended for five years for his involvement in Tuesday’s melee.
“As president of the soccer league, I want to let the soccer community know I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in our league,” Jimenez said. “My decision means Tahoe Mutiny will take the championship.”
Tahoe Mutiny, the tournament’s No. 2 seed, defeated Deportivo Jacquez 2-0 in the first semifinal on Tuesday at the Community Playfields. San Antonio, the regular season champion, played fourth-seeded Santa Fe in the other semifinal and was leading 3-1 when the fight broke out.
With about five minutes left in the game, a Santa Fe player took down a San Antonio player with a harsh foul. After a confrontation between opposing players ensued near the spot of the foul, tempers flared and punches were thrown.
Both benches then cleared the sidelines and became involved in the brawl. League rules state that if any team engages in a bench-clearing brawl, it will be kicked out of the league.
The South Lake Tahoe Police Department was called out to the fields after someone reported a fight. However, when officers arrived on the scene, the fight had already broken up.
Since neither San Antonio nor Santa Fe can continue playing, No. 3 seed Deportivo Jacquez and No. 5 seed Ameca will play tonight at 6:30 at the Community Playfields. The winner will finish with the second-place trophy and the loser will take third place. Tahoe will be crowned champion for a third-straight season since San Antonio can’t play in the championship. The Mutiny also won the 2005 summer and fall league titles.
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