Having not played competitively for the best part of 10 months, it’s perhaps understandable that excitement and adrenaline might just get the better of some players.
But in France’s Fédérale 3 match between Avenir Bizanos and Gan Olympique, things quickly spiralled out of control, within seconds of their respective seasons getting underway.
France is known for its bagarres générales (mass brawls) particularly at amateur level, although far from the only country to produce such melees.
It all stemmed from a reckless tackle from one of the Bizanos players straight from the kick-off, taking out a Gan player without the ball.
From then, all hell broke loose, with things kicking off for real as both sides took exception to the initial reaction from the tackle.
Bizanos-Gan premier match de l’année , coup d’envoi , 10 mois sans jouer ! pic.twitter.com/VotTHRWyaF
— #9️⃣GANG (@clemoui9) October 3, 2021
A lot of it is pushing and shoving, with a fair number of attempted punches missing their target. However, some flailing punches did land to add an extra level of shame to the opening seconds of the match.
According to local reports, each side had a player sent off for the incident, Bizanos prop Salim Barrara and Gan’s Bernard Sedze, with Gan going on to win the match 13-10.