Originally created 11/18/02

Fan punches goalie in head in Italy



CAGLIARI, Sardinia -- A fan went on the field and punched the opposing goalkeeper in the head during an Italian league game Sunday, sending the player to the hospital.

Messina goalkeeper Emanuele Manitta fainted from the punch and was listed in fair condition, according to news reports. The fan managed to flee back to the stands and was not immediately identified by police.

The Serie B game between Cagliari and Messina was suspended. Messina was leading 1-0 when the game was suspended in the 86th minute to treat Manitta.

Police said the spectator slipped onto the field from the stands sheltering Cagliari fans. He was not immediately noticed and was able to reach Manitta because play was elsewhere on the field.

Italian soccer authorities were expected to give Messina the victory. Home clubs are responsible for their fans' behavior.