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Brazilian team has 11 players sent off

March 02, 2003 12:26 IST

A match in Brazil's Carioca championship was abandoned with ten minutes to play on Saturday after the visiting side refused to allow a penalty to be taken and had all 11 players sent off, local media said.

Another match also ended in confusion after Vasco da Gama -- who mocked opponents Flamengo by eating dried cod balls at the end -- were awarded the trophy for winning the competition's first stage and completed a lap of honour, even though they can still be overtaken.

Trouble erupted at the Bangu-Olaria game after the home team were awarded a controversial penalty with ten minutes remaining and the match still scoreless.

The Olaria team bench, led by coach Sergio Cosme, raced onto the pitch and stood on the penalty spot to prevent the kick being taken.

Olaria players also joined in and media reports said that, after nearly 20 minutes of protests, referee Jose Ezequiel summoned the Olaria captain and told him that the entire team had been dismissed.

Neither team had any chance of qualifying for the semi-finals of the competition.

Vasco da Gama and Flamengo finished their campaigns level on 22 points after a 1-1 draw in a match controversially scheduled of the first day of Brazil's Carnival week.

The result meant that Vasco will win the first stage -- and the so-called Guanabara Cup -- unless fourth-placed Americano win their game in hand on Wednesday by an eight-goal margin.

Carioca federation officials apparently decided that the result was a foregone conclusion and presented Vasco the trophy.

Flamengo president Helio Ferraz had promised before the match that he would eat dried cod balls if Vasco -- who traditionally represent the Portuguese community -- finished ahead of his team.

Vasco, often referred to as the Dried Cod which is a Portuguese speciality, replied by eating their own cod balls instead.

"I've sent some cod balls to Ferraz and I've made sure they haven't got any bones in them so he doesn't choke," Vasco da Gama president Eurico Miranda told reporters.

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