Football match abandoned after ‘mass brawl’ breaks out in 97th minute

East Oxford FC were taking on Bletchingdon FC at Sandy Lane Sports Ground in Blackbird Leys on Saturday afternoon in Division Two of the Oxfordshire Senior League.

The match had entered added time at the end of the 90 minutes with the score at 2-1 to the visitors when the incident allegedly happened.

Onlookers saw a mass brawl break out at around 4.45pm with around 50 people reportedly as one spectator, who wished to remain anonymous, informed the Oxford Mail of “violence”.

Oxford Mail: The referee decided to abandon the match (file photo).The referee decided to abandon the match (file photo). (Image: PA)

“There was football violence yesterday at Sandy Lane,” said the fan.

“There was a lot of trouble in the match.”

The match had kicked off at 2pm and was into the 97th minute when officials took the decision to abandon the match.

A statement published by East Oxford FC at the time said: “We regret to announce the abandonment of today’s match against Bletchingdon.

“We will not be commenting on today’s actions and will cooperate fully with the FA’s investigation to get to the bottom of today’s incidents.

“Thank you for your understanding and support.”

Oxford Mail: Bletchington were leading the match 2-1 when the game was halted (file photo).Bletchington were leading the match 2-1 when the game was halted (file photo). (Image: Pexels)

Bletchingdon FC also took to X as soon as the game was abandoned and said: “Match abandoned at 2-1 to Bletch in the 97th minute.

“At this point, until we’ve sat down as a club, we won’t make any further comment.”

Since then the Oxford Mail has approached East Oxford FC for further comment on what happened during the closing stages of the game.

A spokesman for the club said: “As a club, we are currently unable to provide extensive details as we are actively collaborating with the Oxfordshire FA to address the recent incidents.

“We can confirm that no police intervention was required and both the referees and the team’s management and players effectively diffused the situation promptly.

“At this juncture, we are cooperating by sharing our account of events to ensure that those involved are appropriately addressed, allowing us to uphold the true spirit of the sport for all to enjoy.”

An investigation is now being undertaken by the Oxfordshire FA into what occurred on Saturday at Sandy Lane.

A spokesman for the Oxfordshire FA said: “We are aware of an incident that took place, with a full investigation now being carried out by independent third-party investigators, Sport Integrity Matters.

“Unfortunately, no further comment or statement can or will be made while that investigation is in progress.”

Thames Valley Police said it has no information about the incident and it is understood the force was not involved. 

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