Almeria football friendly against Hearts in Malaga’s Marbella abandoned after 60-man brawl on pitch

Image of the pitch in Marbella where Almeria played Hearts. Credit: [email protected]

A friendly football match played in the Malaga city of Marbella between UD Almeria and Hearts was abandoned after a 60-man brawl broke out on the pitch.


A football friendly played between Spanish LaLiga side UD Almeria and the Scottish Premier League team Hearts today, Sunday, December 4, was abandoned by the referee after a brawl broke out on the pitch.

At one point, players and officials from both teams were involved in the altercations which saw around 60 people involved.

With the score standing at 1-0 to Almeria during the first half, thanks to a goal from Diego Sousa, Hearts player Alex Cochrane made a late challenge on one of the Spanish team’s defenders. This provoked a shoving match between both players.

Cochrane was red-carded, along with Almeria’s Rodrigo Ely, which quickly escalated as players and coaching staff from both teams started confronting one another. The match, played in the Malaga city of Marbella, was eventually abandoned by the referee.

“Following altercations between both sets of players, the decision has been made to abandon the match”, read a tweet from the Scottish club. 

“It was a very competitive game and then, all of a sudden, there was a tackle from Alex Cochrane, which I thought was a standard tackle, and then all hell broke loose, with their players running around with forearm smashes from their centre-half on Alex”, said Hearts manager Robbie Neilson.

“I think the ref just totally lost control of it. Benches were over and there were about 60 people on the pitch. It was a bit of a shambles so we just felt, it’s a pre-season game, we’ve already got injuries, so there is no point carrying on because I think tensions were extremely high, to say the least”.

“There’s always going to be a competitive edge but there’s a line that can’t be crossed, and I think they crossed it several times. The referee didn’t have any control over it, he was all over the shop. We just felt there was no point”, as reported by


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Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]