The Peruvian national football team found themselves embroiled in an incident with Spanish police outside a hotel in Madrid on Monday night.
The incident occurred as the team arrived back at their hotel after their final training session ahead of a friendly match against Morocco the following night.
As the footballers attempted to greet their fans, police officers allegedly mistook them for supporters and initiated a scuffle. According to local reports, the situation escalated quickly as tempers flared, and pushing and shoving led to a full-scale punch-up.
As the conflict erupted, a Peruvian fan could be heard shouting for situation to calm down, informing the police that the individuals they were scrapping with were, in fact, professional football players.
Despite this, the altercation continued, with the goalkeeper and captain, Pedro Gallese, revealing that the team merely wanted to greet their fans and were met with physical aggression.
In a statement released overnight, the Peruvian Football Federation expressed their regret over the incident and claimed that the altercation occurred due to fans gathering in traditional fashion to wave flags.
The Federation went on to pledge their full support for Gallese and the team, reiterating their respect for the authorities and the procedures of each country they visit.
The Spanish National Police confirmed that they had arrested a player from the Peruvian team for allegedly striking an officer in the eye during the scuffle.
It was unclear at the time of writing whether the arrested individual was Gallese, although local reports suggested that he was released after being taken to a nearby police station for questioning.
Despite the altercation, the Peruvian Football Federation called on their fans not to react in an inappropriate way and expressed their firm rejection of conflict. The federation also urged their supporters to remain calm and expressed their willingness to cooperate with the authorities in any investigation.
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.