The ambiance in the derby between Grêmio and Internacional, as part of the South American Champions League. The game itself ended 0-0, but at the end of the game, there was a massive brawl – the result: eight red cards in 10 munites.
The derby between the two Brazilian teams Grêmio and Internacional, also known as the ‘Grenal’, is always heavily loaded one. The rivalry between the two clubs is centuries old, and it often comes to a head during the match. That was also no different on Thursday evening: in the final game, players from the rival teams clashed en masse.
The Argentinian referee Fernando Rapallini did not know where to start, but would eventually face eight players with a red card. The spectators still got value for their money after a very dull match. At the post-match press conference, Renato ‘Gaucho’ Portaluppi, Grêmio’s coach, was not pleased with the incident. “It is a shame. I am against violence and I told my players that too. I always tell my team just to play football, but when the opponent starts fighting, I can’t expect them just to watch. My team is not made up of nuns.”
Internacional coach Eduardo Coudet firmly disapproves of the incident. “I am absolutely not happy with what happened during the game. We need to focus on playing football and winning. We did that too. We played a good match, but it was all overshadowed by the brawl in the end. I am very sorry that this has happened. Many people watch the match, including children. The players, therefore, have an example function. Due to the intensity of the competition, many people have gone too far. I’ve never experienced in my career that my team ends with only seven players on the field.”
Pedro Geromel, the defender at Grêmio, also regrets the incident. “Of course we are all to blame here,” he said at the press conference. “We live in a time where nobody still respects each other. As soccer players, we have the opportunity to be an example. I am, therefore, ashamed, especially as captain, of what happened on the field.”