Cranston bans RI football association after brawl

A brawl breaks out at an all-star football game in Cranston.

The head of the Department of Parks and Recreation in Cranston said Monday the city won't allow the Rhode Island Football Coaches Association to hold another game on its fields after a brawl between dozens of players at an all-star football game forced officials to end the contest early.

"The Rhode Island Coaches Association will not have another football game here at Cranston Stadium. This was their first and it was their last," said Tony Liberatore of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

The RIFCA East-West Senior Game on Saturday ended with 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter.

"A player was running, went out of bounds. A defender chased him out of bounds and I guess he continued a bit further than he should. And natural reaction, one jumped up and pushed another," Liberatore said.

No injuries were reported, and no charges were filed.

But why weren't police called after the fight, and why wasn't there a police detail at the game?

"Parks and Recreation host games here continuously. The team or the group that rents the facility is responsible for security whether it's their own or they pay Cranston police detail. It was not done by the Rhode Island Coaches Association," Liberatore said.

The RIFCA released a statement Monday that said, "Our Association had several supervisors at the game to make sure was properly managed for the safety of players, coaches, officials and fans. (We) hope that one minor incident involving football players near the sideline would not hinder our relationship with Cranston Stadium."

Liberatore said his decision was non-negotiable.

The game was not sanctioned by the Rhode Island Interscholastic League.