28 March 2019: A video has emerged on social media showing what appears to be a violent clash between players of two Nepalese community football teams from Sydney.
Sagarmatha Football Club and St George Nepalese Club were apparently vying for the third place in the recently-concluded GNC Shield 2019 when adrenaline took a wrong turn and young men milled against each other in a violent exchange of free kicks and wild punches.
It may be a little-known sporting event beyond the Nepalese diaspora but Gurkha Nepalese Community (GNC) has been organising the tournament for the last 20 consecutive years, it is understood. The GNC Shield is quite popular in Sydney, the nucleus of the Nepalese diaspora in Australia, and is participated by hundreds of young players every year.
The video posted by Sydney-based Nepalese youth Ramji Basnet has attracted nearly 400 reactions from members of his tight-knit community. “This is wrong. I felt very bad when I saw the video, that’s why I posted it,” Mr Basnet told southasia.com.au on Thursday.
Another full-length video on Facebook shows how the match quickly escalated into a gang-style full-blown fist-fight. The brawl appears to have been sparked by a “fault” that occurred during the match with the referee showing yellow card to one player from each of the rival teams.
The fight broke out right in the middle of the field but quickly spread outside after the brawling players jumped fence and continued throwing punches and kicks in all directions amid the adjacent treeline. A volunteer, most likely from the organiser, made efforts to contain the violence but to no avail.
The organiser, GNC, has condemmed the behaviour of the players and supporters of both the teams with “great disappointment”.
“We can promise there will be harsh penalties to all those who have jeopardise community harmony and safety & wellbeing of people who simply wants to enjoy the game of Football,” (sic) a Facebook post purported to be GNC’s announcement reads.