LVIV, Ukraine (ArmeniaNow) — A brawl between Armenian and Azerbaijani delegations marred European Kung Fu championships in Lviv, Ukraine, where a fight between the two rival nations’ representatives had to be stopped because of a skirmish that got out of hand.
Armenia’s David Petrosyan, a native of Nagorno Karabagh, was poised to gain a semifinal victory over his Azeri rival when Azerbaijan’s delegation initiated a brawl inside the ring that quickly erupted into the sports hall in front of cameras.
A video from the May 13 out-of-the-ring fight that went viral on the internet over the weekend shows more than three dozen Azeris attacking 11 Armenian team members, most of whom were underage, with sticks. European Kung Fu Federation head Nikolay Matulevsky was also reportedly hurt in the incident as he apparently tried to intervene to stop the fistfight.
The Azeri team was eventually disqualified from the competitions for “unsportsmanlike behavior” following a decision of the Referees’ Committee.
Aysor.am quoted Armenian Kung Fu Federation Chairman Sargis Harutyunyan as voicing suspicions that the Azeri delegation had planned the attack in advance.
The Armenian fighter’s brother, Sgt. Marat Petrosyan, is a decorated hero of the four-day Armenian-Azerbaijani war in Nagorno Karabagh in early April during which he reportedly destroyed five enemy tanks and one armored vehicle and was given a first-degree Combat Cross medal for his service.