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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Brazilian Peace Fighters

RIO DE JANEIRO () -- Two players were sent off for fighting while the referee was given a police escort during a Brazilian championship match which had begun with players offering their support to a peace campaign.

The Sao Paulo team brought a white flag onto the field for their home match with Bahia on Sunday to show solidarity for a public campaign against violence in Sao Paulo, which has seen several people murdered during armed robberies this month.

But as soon as the game began, the players set about kicking each other as a series of wild tackles flew in with Bahia the main culprits.

Sao Paulo midfielder Edmilson was the victim of a vicious tackle from behind just before halftime in an incident which resulted in players squaring up to each other.

The referee had been given a police escort as he left the field at halftime, apparently to protect him against Bahia players who were livid about a goal which gave Sao Paulo a 2-1 lead just before the interval.