There’s already been soccer violence and hooliganism—at an EU charity event

“Suck it up. It’s for charity.”
“Suck it up. It’s for charity.”
Image: Reuters/Gleb Garanich
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Just as the Euro 2016 soccer tournament featuring 24 nations is about to kick off in France (paywall), another European soccer match didn’t go quite so well.

For the last 20 years, European Union officials have played a charity soccer tournament in Brussels in support of impoverished children across the world. Winners are awarded the Schuman Trophy—named for the architect of the forerunner to the EU.

This year, though, the well-meaning sports match—featuring different departments of the European Commission—turned into an epic brawl between two officials. The police had to be called and one person was hospitalized with a concussion, according to Politico. The incident occurred during the intense final, where players were reportedly shoving and calling each other “whores.”

An investigation into the fight has already been launched. “Such behavior is totally unacceptable, no matter whether in or outside the work environment,” Commission spokesperson Alexander Winterstein told Politico.

Though there were no winner in the end, the Commission’s anti-fraud unit, OLAF, did win the “fair play” award. Ironically, the fight involved a player from the Commission’s interpretation department, who ended up in hospital with a concussion. Perhaps there was a miscommunication?

In their behaviour, Commission officials have a lot in common with England’s drunken, hooligan-ish traveling support, many of whom are currently in France and are debating whether to leave the EU this month.