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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 26, 2008

Bizarre pitch fracas follows Chelsea match

LONDON, April 26 (Reuters) - Chelsea ground staff and Manchester United players were involved in a bizarre fracas on the pitch in an almost deserted Stamford Bridge stadium after Saturday's Premier League match between the two teams.

None of the United players who started the match were involved but Patrice Evra, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Gerard Pique, Park Ji-sung, and substitute John O'Shea were all warming down when an argument began with the ground staff tending the pitch.

Stewards quickly moved in to separate those involved but after the situation quietened down the row flared up again, although no punches were thrown.

The incident, which lasted less than 30 seconds but involved a great deal of shouting and posturing, came a few minutes after Chelsea beat United 2-1 to pull level with them at the top of the table.

A Chelsea spokesman told reporters: 'We will be studying the CCTV footage of the incident and take whatever action is appropriate.'

After the game, United defender Rio Ferdinand told reporters he had apologised to a steward after accidentally kicking her following Michael Ballack's late penalty winner.

Ferdinand kicked out at a brick wall as he walked off the pitch but also made contact with the steward.

'Unfortunately, a lady was standing by and I accidentally brushed her with my foot. I apologised profusely and went back to make sure she was OK,' he said. 'I have arranged for a bouquet of flowers to be sent to her.

'Credit to her, she laughed it off and was very understanding. She said she wasn't hurt.'

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