In recent weeks we have seen a couple of altercations between footballers and ball-boys, and last night’s meeting between River Plate and Gimnasia-Jujuy produced yet another moment of madness from the visitors’ keeper.
There is a body of opinion who have little sympathy with the young helpers placed all around the pitch, with many accusing the South American ball-boys of time-wasting when their home team are defending a slender lead.
Such was the case last night at River. Trailing 1-nil with just under 20 minutes to play, Gimnasia keeper Gaston Pezzutti lost his cool after a rogue ball-boy, reported to have played in River’s youth divisions, kept the custodian waiting too long to receive a ball to continue play. After finally collecting the ball, a furious Pezzutti hurled it back at the youth, hitting the blindsided teenager on his back, before the predictable farcical melee began to unfold.
Left with little option, the referee sent off Pezzutti for his behaviour, while interestingly the match official also made a point of ordering the ball-boy to leave the ground.
The incident can be seen 3.45 minutes into this video.