Albanian soccer club begs forgiveness for briefly becoming Albanian fight club

Members of the Albanian Cultural Sports Association of West Roxbury pleaded with the Boston Licensing Board today to forgive it for a fight that left the floor of its new clubhouse covered in blood and littered with smashed glassware and bottles.

A club member told the board the man most severely injured in the Sept. 22 incident has forgiven his attackers - and succeeded in having criminal complaints against his attackers withdrawn.

Police say the brawl began as an argument over a soccer game being shown on a widescreen TV that had just been installed in the 100 Spring St. location. By the time it was over, one man had had his shirt ripped off, had two new two black eyes and had his scalp opened up thanks to a glass bottle or mug smashed on his head.

Club President Arjan Papa said the men were in the clubhouse to get it ready for opening, after a proposed deal to open in a Centre Street location fell through.

One longtime club member said the club sponsors three soccer teams on its own, and that the club has proven a valuable location for members of the local Albanian community to reminisce about home, seek help adjusting to American society and enjoy games of chess, dominos and backgammon. "They are regular taxpayers, regular voters," he said.

Police also cited the club for the bottles of beer - not all smashed on the groun - they found after the fight. Papa and ssociation attorney Michael Tobin said the club does not sell or offer beer - members bring their own bottles, then either take them with them when they leave or have them thrown out.

The board decides Thursday what action, if any, to take.

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Reminds me

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of the bad old days at the Amvets Hall in Roslindale.

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