Anger erupts at Friendly Games

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Five of the Rhodes players and the team coach were sent off during a crucial qualifying clash with host island Guernsey at the Corbet field.

This led to the match being abandoned by FA Carling Premiership referee Wendy Toms as Rhodes had fewer players on the field than the minimum number of seven allowed.A crowd of about 4,000 also saw a Guernsey player dismissed and there were angry clashes between fans as the mood turned ugly, with bottles and cans thrown.

Guernsey fans branded the Rhodes team a disgrace and the police called for reinforcements as the atmosphere soured among supporters.Rhodes arrived at the match celebrating after having been chosen earlier in the day as hosts for the 2007 Games.

However, that honour is now in doubt as a result of the unprecedented acrimony.Rhodes players repeatedly kicked, punched, spat at and stamped on their opponents, and pushed and tripped the referee.One of their players dropped his shorts at the crowd in the second half.

Yet the team celebrated wildly with their supporters after the abandonment.It is the first time a Games football match has been abandoned and organisers held an emergency meeting late last night.It is not yet clear whether Rhodes will be kicked out of the tournament.

However, today the football team boss said he wanted his team to play their remaining match.Media co-ordinator Darren Duquemin said: ‘I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen now.

The meeting will consider all possibilities.’However, all other officials refused to speak as they were whisked away for the hastily convened meeting.

They also stopped Guernsey’s players from commenting.Repeated calls for fans to leave the pitch were ignored as tempers flared.

Minutes earlier, supporters had thrown bottles and cans into the Rhodes goalmouth.The Mayor of Rhodes, George Giannopoulos, who watched the match, could not understand the attitude of his players.He said: ‘There is too much tension.

I am very disappointed with the team and I wish they would calm down because this is only sport.’But Rhodes players and coaches accused the referee of bias.

Team manager George Bosganas said: ‘The referee was not good.

She did not do her job properly and she was responsible for ruining the game.’Rhodes refused to go into their dressing room after the game and Guernsey players were kept on the pitch for fear their opponents would attack them in the tunnel area leading to the dressing rooms.Jersey’s team moved well ahead at the top of the Games medals table today.

Late this morning they had won 20 gold, 15 silver and 13 bronze medals.

They are seven gold medals ahead of Guernsey and the Isle of Man are in third place with nine golds.

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