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Argentina's Arsenal pay fine after brawl

Argentine club Arsenal have paid a $20,000 fine to ensure that seven of their players avoid charges after a brawl involving police officers following their Copa Libertadores match in Brazil 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.

Seven players were held for questioning, but have since been released after the fine was paid - reportedly with help from Mineiro.

"There were apologies sent by the Argentine consulate, by part of Arsenal's club directors and by the team captain,'' police official Claudia Romualdo told the UOL website.

However, the Argentine club were not happy with the way they were treated.

"I had to ask for forgiveness from a police officer who was pointing a gun to my head,'' Arsenal president Julito Grondona said in a radio interview, according to UOL. "The police was not up to the task for an event like this.''

Argentine media have reacted badly, blaming the Brazilian police and claiming that it tarnished the "image of the country hosting the next World Cup,'' according to the Ole newspaper. While the Cancha Llena had a headline reading "Brazilian Shame.''

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report


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