Sevilla coach hit by bottle, knocked unconscious

February 28, 2007

SEVILLE, Spain -- A coach was knocked unconscious by a plastic bottle thrown from the crowd Wednesday, prompting a King's Cup game to be called off in the second half. Sevilla coach Juande Ramos stumbled before falling and was carried off the field on a stretcher. He regained consciousness soon afterward, Betis doctor Tomas Calero told radio station Cadena SER. Catalan station TV3 showed the bottle, which contained liquid and ice, hitting Ramos on the left side of his head. He was taken to a hospital, where he was to remain under observation for at least 12 hours. "He's now feeling better," Sevilla sports director Ramon "Monchi" Rodriguez said. "He's conscious and talking. We're all with him and we're all calmer." Sevilla president Jose Maria Del Nido said Ramos had been unconscious for "10-11 minutes" and didn't recall the goal. The attack occurred during the quarterfinal between Sevilla and crosstown rival Real Betis. Sevilla had taken a 1-0 lead in the 59th minute on a goal by Frederik Kanoute when the coach was hit. Play was halted, and some spectators left Betis' Manuel Ruiz de Lopera stadium before the announcement that the game had been suspended. Some Betis fans threw stones at an ambulance that entered the stadium for Ramos, resulting in riot police having to clear the area, the station added. "I don't want to blame Betis," Del Nido said. "The uncontrolled people who did this are the ones we have to blame." Betis described the attack as "unusual and isolated." The team said it was trying to identify who threw the bottle. Del Nido said Spanish federation president Angel Maria Villar had called an emergency meeting to discuss if the game should be resumed.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press