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Saturday 28 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C
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# angry scenes
Hearts friendly in Spain abandoned following clashes between players
Robbie Neilson accused the opposition of overreacting to a ‘standard’ tackle.

HEARTS’ FRIENDLY against Almeria in Spain has been abandoned following clashes between opposing players.

The match against the La Liga side was stopped in the first half, Hearts’ Alex Cochrane and Almeria’s Rodrigo Ely having both been shown red cards after what the Scottish Premiership club called “a heated argument” following a challenge.

Hearts tweeted: “Following altercations between both sets of players, the decision has been made to abandon the match.”

Hearts, who lost 4-0 to Blackburn in their previous friendly in Spain on Friday, were trailing 1-0 when the match was abandoned.

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson accused the Spanish players of overreacting to a “standard” tackle and said there was little option but to abandon the game after the referee “totally lost control”.

Speaking to Hearts TV, Neilson said: “It was a very competitive game and all of a sudden on the far side there was a tackle from Alex which I thought was just a standard tackle and then all hell broke loose.

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“The ref just totally lost control of it – benches were over and there was about 60 people on the pitch.

“It was just a bit of a shambles, so we just felt that in a pre-season game, there’s no point carrying on because tensions were extremely high, to say the least.

“There’s always going to be a competitive edge but there’s a line that you can’t really cross and I think it got crossed several times.”

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Press Association

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