Watch red card spark mass brawl in Brazil as referee ends match 'early' forcing military police to intervene

MILITARY POLICE were called onto the pitch in Brazil to protect the referee following a game between Botafogo and Fluminense.

Playing at the iconic Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, all hell broke loose after referee Paulo Coelho sent off former Brazilian international and Fluminense striker Fred.

The 38-year-old was shown a second yellow card deep into stoppage time of the state championship semi-final against fierce rivals Botafogo.

But when the veteran forward refused to leave the pitch referee Coelho simply decided to blow for full time early, as reported by A Bola.

That sparked fury among the Botafogo players, who were incensed that the match was brought to a halt before the allotted time had been played.

The game was into the 101st minute when the drama unfolded, way over the indicated seven minutes added time, but still too early to end in the eyes of the Botafogo squad.

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Players and staff immediately sprinted over to the referee upon hearing the whistle – cuing violent scenes on the pitch as they made their anger known.

A Bola report military police had to be called on to "calm the mood" and for referee Coehlo's safety, who was escorted off the pitch.

Botafogo players were left seething as a dramatic 97th minute Fluminense goal knocked them out of the Rio state Championship on away goals.

With the semi-final tie 1-0 to Fluminense after the first leg, Botafogo had seemingly turned things around at the Maracana until German Cano's late strike.

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And then when Fred refused to exit the pitch, in what turned out to be the perfect time wasting tactic, it was all too much for Botafogo's stars to take.

Fluminense will now take on fellow Rio de Janeiro based side and bitter rivals Flamego in the Rio state championship final.

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