Brazilian soccer brawl leads to nine red cards, forfeit (Video)

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A Vitoria player throws a punch at a Bahia player. (Screenshot: BDV Football on YouTube)
A Vitoria player throws a punch at a Bahia player. (Screenshot: BDV Football on YouTube)

Type “Brazilian soccer brawl” into your internet search engine of choice, and even on a day after a massive one, there’ll be no shortage of options to choose from. Fights – not just scuffles, but proper fights – are unfortunately not unheard of in Brazil’s Serie A and lower divisions. Far from it.

Nonetheless, Sunday’s brawl between rivals Bahia and Vitoria was unique in a few ways. It started with a hip-thrusting celebration directed at opposing fans. It kicked off with a goalkeeper’s anger and a few vicious punches.

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After around 15 minutes, the match restarted 9-on-8. Referee Jailson Macedo de Freitas issued seven red cards in the wake of the melee – four to Bahia, three to Vitoria. But two of the four to Bahia were to substitutes who had joined the fracas from the bench.

Here’s the full 15-minute video of the brawl and the aftermath:

But it did not finish 9-on-8. Because Vitoria, after the restart, had two more players sent off later in the second half. The first was for a relatively normal second yellow card. The other was for another player’s absurd petulance, which can be seen here.

With Vitoria down to six players, by rule, the match couldn’t go on. With 11 minutes left, it was abandoned, and it seems Bahia will be awarded a forfeit victory.

Oh, and the craziest part? This might not have been the most shocking violence in Brazilian soccer this past weekend. Elsewhere, a player pinned a ball boy to the ground and started punching him in the face:

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Henry Bushnell covers global soccer, and occasionally other ball games, for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell.

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