The Milk Cup, the prestigious youth football tournament held each year in Northern Ireland, descended into violence yesterday when the hosts’ clash with Mexico was hit by an astonishing outbreak of violence which resulted in four red cards being shown.

With Mexico leading 1-0, the match degenerated into a mass brawl on 57 minutes.

In the melee you can see a Mexican player land a fierce boot to the head of a Northern Irish opponent, before being dismissed by the referee.

Stewards were forced to intervene to restore the peace before referee Tim Marshall eventually sent off three players – Mexico goalkeeper Raul Gudino and defender Carlos Arreola as well as Northern Ireland’s Robbie McDaid.

Proceedings were halted again in the 89th minute after Kevin Gutierrez was sent off for kicking out and, when another brawl ensued, the referee, wisely, blew for time a minute early.