St. Polten match abandoned after two teammates fight over taking a penalty
A friendly between Austrian Bundesliga club SKN St. Polten and lower-league side SC Mannsdorf was abandoned after a fight on the pitch broke out between two teammates.
St. Polten were winning 2-1 when they were awarded a penalty in the 83rd minute, leading to a brawl between club captain Daniel Segovia and his teammate Alhassane Keita over who was taking the spot kick.
Keita, who joined St. Polten ahead of the season, hoped to take the penalty and claimed the ball but Segovia reacted furiously, Austrian outlet Krone reported. After first exchanging words, they wrangled over the ball before swapping blows.
With Segovia and Keita fighting, and the captain picking up a cut above his nose, the referee abandoned the match and the two players had to be separated by their teammates.
"He [Keita] thinks he's [Diego] Maradona," Segovia told reporters after the match. "I am one of the club captain's here, and as long as the coach doesn't say anything else, I am the one to take the penalties."
St. Polten coach Jochen Fallman was not impressed with what he saw, telling reporters: "We can't tolerate this."
St. Polten have since temporarily suspended both players until Wednesday.
"We must take the emotion out of it and then make a decision," sporting director Frenkie Schinkel said.
The club briefly mentioned the episode on their official website, with a match report stating: "Sadly, the match came to an early end following an inglorious, internal dispute."
The report added that St. Polten are set to review the incident on Monday.
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.