In scenes reminiscent of Paolo Di Canio’s infamous push of referee Paul Alcock, the Chile Primera B match between Concepcion and Rangers on Saturday witnessed one of the craziest incidents ever seen on a football field.
To set the scene, Rangers travelled to Concepcion with an uphill struggle on their hands, the hosts are third in Chile’s second division whilstÂ the awayÂ side had lost their previous three games and are second from bottom.
Following a goalless first half Concepcion took the lead through Vergara who scored from long range on 64 minutes. Ten minutes later Rangers conceded a penalty and this is where all hell started to break loose.
Referee Marcelo Miranda called back the first penalty which was successfully converted for encroachment. The second penalty was saved by the Rangers goalkeeper but then again called back by the ref.
Clearly a little worried by the first two, Concepcion then changed their penalty taker and incredibly the third attempt was saved again but again the ref ordered a retake and finally, on the fourth try, former Middlesbrough striker Hamilton Ricard scored to put the home side 2-up.
As one would imagine, the Rangers players were irate at this point and a bad tackle two minutes later saw at least half the team surround the referee with Paraguayan Jose Pedroso despairing of the officiating and stranglingÂ Marcelo Miranda.
Pedroso was subsequently sent off by a surprisingly calm refereeÂ and then had to be restrainedÂ by his team mates before leaving the field. To add insult to injury Hamilton scored again from a penalty to complete a 3-0 victory.
After the game Pedroso said: “I’m not sorry… I understand that I will be punished and I will no longer play for Rangers or any other team. I intend to get away from football, I’d rather be at peace with my family in Paraguay.”