Polo pool punch-up! Mass brawl halts Russian water polo match (VIDEO)
A water polo match in the Russian Super League was converted into something of a boxing bout after players of the two competing teams were into a huge mass brawl involving captains and even reserve swimmers.
Tensions between Sintez from Kazan and Spartak Volgograd boiled over in the fourth quarter of their match on Sunday after the captain of the visiting side, Sergey Odintsov, hit Spartak player Vitaly Yurchik in the face with four minutes remaining in regular time.
The foul sparked a splash-and-grab fight involving players of both squads exchanging punches. Spartak substitute players also dived into the pool from the sides to join the action, which lasted for more than a minute, prompting the referee to halt the match.
When the water had settled, match referee Sergey Naumov decided not to resume the game, handing a 9-6 victory to Spartak, the score at the time of the brawl.
No penalties have been announced so far by the Russian Water Polo Federation which could award the game to Sintez by default to punish the hosts for their players’ becoming involved, with Sintez confirming on their official Instagram page the result will be subject to an official review.
Sintez and Spartak share the second place spot in the national championship standings and have high chance of meeting again in the Russian Super League playoffs.