Page last updated at 10:40 GMT, Wednesday, 29 October 2008

MSP match abandoned after clash

Football
Mr Macintosh said the MSPs wanted to redeem themselves

A football match between politicians and journalists was called off after tempers boiled over, it has emerged.

The match was stopped after 55 minutes following a number of contentious challenges between the MSPs and the sports journalists they were facing.

BBC Scotland broadcaster Chick Young was taken out of the game by what he called an "evil" tackle, after which the MSP John Park was sent off.

The game took place at Lesser Hampden in Glasgow on Sunday.

Labour's Ken Macintosh, one of the organisers of the MSPs' side, said both teams accepted the decision to call proceedings to a halt.

"Normally it's our football that embarrasses, not our behaviour," Mr Macintosh said.

"But in this case, it wasn't a terrific display.

"We're looking for a chance to redeem ourselves and show that we play football in the right spirit in the near future."

One of the flashpoints in the match saw Chick Young injured and stretchered off.

"That was part of what got the game overheated," Mr Macintosh said.

Mr Park, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, who carried out the contentious tackle, told BBC Scotland: "I felt quite guilty about it and I went and apologised to Chick."

'Evil challenge'

But Chick said he had never experienced play like it in 20 years of charity football.

He said: "I'm beginning to mellow as the days go on but if you saw my ankle you'd be understanding why I'm reluctant to do so.

"The tackle was evil in my opinion and the referee obviously clearly agreed."

The MSPs' side, which also included Labour's Andy Kerr and Frank McAveety and the SNP's Jamie Hepburn, was leading 6-2 when the match was abandoned.

It is understood this came about after players from both sides squared up and started pushing each other in the chest.

The journalists' team also included Radio Clyde commentator Peter Martin.

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