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'friendly' match WATCH: Ireland international Ciaran Clark sent off for punching player during friendly in Saudi Arabia

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Ciaran Clark of Newcastle

Ciaran Clark of Newcastle

Ciaran Clark of Newcastle

Ireland international Ciaran Clark was sent off for punching an opponent during Newcastle’s 2-1 friendly victory over Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad.

The friendly in Saudi Arabia – which was played in front of watching Saudi dignitaries – ended on a sour note when Clark was involved in a tangle with striker Abderrazak Hamdallah before appearing to strike him with his right fist. Hamdallah was also sent off for retaliation.

“Both sides were very keen to play the game in the right spirit,” said Newcastle manager Eddie Howe after the match.

“I thought there was a couple of difficult moments for the referee. There was no need for the red card, I thought he could have dealt with it in a different way but by the book it was probably the right decision.”

While Clark’s actions sparked furious reaction from Toon fans online, he did make up with Hamdallah after the match as the pair were pictured embracing and swapping their jerseys.

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