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Arsenal players detained after Copa brawl

Argentine club Arsenal have found themselves in trouble with the law after a brawl involving police officers following their Copa Libertadores match on Wednesday.

Atletico Mineiro picked up a 5-2 win over Arsenal but as the Argentine club's players went to remonstrate with the officials on the final whistle, they were physically restrained by Belo Horizonte police, which saw them retaliate with punches and kicks.

"The officers were positioned to provide safety to the visiting players so they could go into the locker rooms, but inexplicably they attacked the officers again as they left the field,'' local police official Claudia Romualdo said, adding that one of the players hit her with a kick to her chest.

"What happened here is deplorable. This is not about sports. When our law is broken, obviously we need to take action.''

Four of Arsenal's players were held for questioning after the club's entire staff were kept from leaving the stadium until the perpetrators could be found.

Atletico Mineiro club director Eduardo Maluf told local media that the locker room had been damaged by the visiting side and that he would be asking Arsenal to pay for Atletico's losses.

"They came here to fight,'' Atletico Mineiro coach Cuca added. "I was tired of seeing their defensive midfielders kicking (our players) away from the ball.''

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report


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