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By ESPN Staff
Dec 19, 2006

Delgado apologises after mass brawl

QUITO, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Former Ecuador striker Agustin Delgado has apologised for his part in a vicious brawl at the end of LDU's 1-1 draw at home to Barcelona on Sunday.

Four Barcelona players were injured in the incident on the last day of the season which shocked the country and overshadowed the title won by El Nacional.

'I want to apologise to the fans, to all the young people and children for my behaviour,' Delgado told reporters.

'They (Barcelona) kicked me, they treated me badly throughout the game, they kicked my injured leg and they know I have problems in this leg, that's why I reacted like that.'

Barcelona said on their Web site that midfielders Leondardo Soledispa, David Garcia and Edwin Tenorio and defender Samuel Vanegas were injured in the fight, one of the worst in Ecuadorean soccer history.

Soledispa suffered a broken nose after being kicked while he was on the ground while Garcia complained of headaches and dizziness after being kicked and punched.

Colombian Vanegas sustained an injured eye and Tenorio, a defensive midfielder who played for Ecuador at the World Cup, a bruised face.

The Ecuadorean Football Federation (FEF) said on its Web site that the incident started with a clash between Delgado and his marker Victor Montoya.

Montoya denied that he had deliberately kicked Delgado's injured knee.

'That's a lie,' the 22-year-old told the daily newspaper El Universo. 'We were arguing for the whole game. I went in hard and won all the duels. I think that upset him and he started to insult my mother and I responded.'

The FEF named LDU's Paraguayan central defender Carlos Espinola as the chief aggressor and said he had flown back to Asuncion after the game.

'It's not right that they react like that because of a bad result,' said Soledispa, who also suffered a swollen face.

Ecuadorean media said the players involved could face bans of up to one year as well as jail sentences.