LINUS LINDAHL & ALAN VACCARO / AIPS* in AL-AIN: Honduras did not leave the World U-17s the way they hoped. The quarter-finals saw them lose not only by 2-1 to Sweden but lose their discipline.
Swedish defender Noah Sonko Sundberg accused Honduras’ Brayan Velasquez of having spat at him in the closing minutes. So, at the final whistle, both Sundberg and goalkeeper Sixten Mohlin celebrated wildly and deliberately in the midfielder’s face.
Veasquez reacted and, within seconds, players from both squads were pushing and shoving.
Sundberg said later: “He spit at me twice, once time in my face and once on my back. I only saw darkness and got really angry. I told him that he cannot behave like that.”
Mohlin said: “It was a pity about the situation in the end. Me and Noah stepped forward to him and made it clear and then it escalated.”
Honduras’ coach José Valladares tried to restore peace on the pitch. He gathered all his players and took them to shake hands with their rivals who were now in a team huddle. While the Honduras waited to shake hands the Swedish players ignored them.
Honduras defender Anoal Hernández said: “What happened was because of the frustration. Nobody wants to lose. But when we got to the locker room we start crying, we talked and reflected that we shouldn’t have done it because we need to accept that this time we had to lose.”
Qatari referee Abdulrahman Abdou showed Honduras’ substitute José Fiallos a red card for kicking a ball against the Swedish players and showed Sundberg yellow.
FIFA has yet to comment on the disciplinary issues.
* AIPS, the international sports journalists association, is running a Young Reporters course at the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 with the support of the local organising committee and FIFA
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