Copa America Video: Watch Paraguay and Venezuela Brawl After Copa Semifinal

Sam WestmorelandFeatured ColumnistJuly 21, 2011

There's a Copa America video making its way across the sports world today after a match between Paraguay and Venezuela descended into violence following their semifinal clash. 

Tempers ran hot throughout the contest, which was easily the most closely contested clash of what has been a fantastic tournament as a whole.

The pair had made incredibly surprising runs to the semifinals, defeating some of the tournament's heavy favorites en route, so it was understandable when emotions ran hot in this one. 

The sides played to a 0-0 draw through 120 minutes of football, and the match wound up heading to penalties, which were won by Paraguay, 5-3. With their head coach and leading assistant both sent off earlier in the match for arguing calls, Paraguay's celebration was marred by a massive brawl on the sidelines. 

Venezuela manager Cesar Farias claimed that it was the Paraguayan players who instigated the fight by taunting and trying to provoke violence from their counterparts, according to ESPNSoccernet.

Farias said: "We didn't go out to provoke an incident. However, some of the players and officials from Paraguay came to the game ready to provoke us.

"And to see that kind of behaviour is frustrating. They were making fun of us. We will not accept any more to be disrespected the way we were yesterday."

The fact is, this was unacceptable behavior to end the match, regardless of who instigated the fight. I realize how much this meant to the Venezuelans, who had won just two matches in all previous Copa America competitions, but that's no excuse to let post-match proceedings descend into violence of this magnitude.

If Farias' claims are accurate, Paraguay had no business taunting an opponent they only defeated by a single penalty save and will be lucky to have no further ejections from their final clash with Uruguay.

Tournament officials have said they're reviewing tape of the incident to determine whether further suspensions or punishment are needed, and it's unclear as of yet whether any of the Paraguayans will be forced to sit out the final.

With their top coaches already watching from the stands, any further suspensions could have a devastating effect on the team's chances of winning the Copa America, but that's what happens when you pick fights after key matches.