It goes without saying that the sport of soccer is followed with tremendous passion in South America. Each country's pro league has legions of followers who flock to stadiums each week to see their home side, take the pitch and play for their town's honor.
Given the devotion these fans show during intra-league matches, it would only make sense that competitions between clubs from different countries are played and followed with even greater intensity than normal, and that is certainly the case in the annual Copa Libertadores, which is the most prestigious club competition in South American soccer. Representatives from 11 different nations (Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela and Mexico) take place in the 38-team competition, which aims to determine the best pro team in South and Central America each year.
The final of the Copa Libertadores was played on Wednesday, and pitted Brazilian club Santos against Uruguayan side Penarol. Santos won the final, 2-1 on aggregate, but unfortunately the action didn't stop at the final whistle. A heated brawl broke out between the two clubs after the final result was determined. According to one of the Penarol players, the fight was triggered by a Santos fan who ran onto the field and provoked the club.
While none of the players were seriously hurt, the scene devolved into chaos, and showed what can happen when passion for the sport is allowed to run amok.
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