Leeds United’s Under-23s walked out of a game at non-league Rhyl last night after a violent second-half brawl.
A fight towards the end of a goalless friendly forced United coach Carlos Corberan to withdraw his players and abandon the fixture amid ugly scenes in Wales.
Trouble flared after a late challenge by United defender Bryce Hosannah. Video footage showed Rhyl’s Tony Davies throwing a flurry of punches at Leeds centre-back Paudie O’Connor as rival players confronted each other.
Leeds are understood to have been unhappy with the physical approach of an experienced Rhyl side throughout the evening and although the match was not officially called off, Corberan ordered his side to leave the field and head for the team coach after the fighting died down.
United are yet to officially comment but writing on Twitter afterwards, Corberan said: “We will always represent Leeds United with the correct behaviours and values respecting the opponent and the football rules. Proud of the players in the way they conducted themselves.”
Rhyl later released a statement saying: “Following the abandonment of the friendly match between Rhyl FC and a Leeds United XI this evening, the club will now launch an internal investigation into the incidents which resulted in the match being halted during the second half.”
O’Connor is understood to have stepped in to defend Hosannah after Hosannah was confronted by a crowd of Rhyl players. Neither player was injured in the melee.
Fans who were present at the Corbett Sports Stadium were critical of a series of heavy challenges by Rhyl players prior to the second-half brawl.
The Football Association is investigating and liaising with the Welsh FA.