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Hunger is back at Barca

Barcelona
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By ESPN Staff

Chelsea say little about training ground brawl

Chelsea are staying quiet about a huge brawl which took place ojn their Cobham training ground earlier this week, issuing only a short statement describing the scrap as an "unfortunate incident".

A practice match between a Chelsea reserve team and Qatari side Al-Ahli descended into violence and was abandoned after just 35 minutes.

Chelsea's players were reportedly assaulted with karate kicks, knee-high tackles and had their hair pulled out and eyes gouged.

Chelsea, who organised the game at short notice, had been given a top-class referee by the Football Association.

The FA are expected to conduct an investigation into the incident although the referee's report, already understood to be at the FA's new Wembley offices, points the blame directly at Al-Ahli.

The English club tried to defuse the situation with a Chelsea spokesman declaring: "There was an unfortunate incident but it has been dealt with.''

Chelsea said they would be making no further comment about the matter.

The Chelsea side included some of the players on the fringe of the first-team squad. Goalkeeper Rhys Taylor, defender Jeffrey Bruma, Carl Magnay, Gael Kakuta and defender Jack Cork, now on loan at Coventry.

Cork was reported to have been repeatedly hit while in a headlock and an opponent is said to have poked his fingers up the nose of Gael Kakuta.

The trouble is understood to have started when left-back Ben Gordon was the recipient of a two-footed tackle above the knee.

The fracas was captured by Chelsea's TV channel but the club have since removed all references to the game from its official website.

The first-team players were enjoying a day off after their 3-1 win over Sunderland on Tuesday night but it is believed many of them have seen film of the incident.

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