THE universities of Brighton and Sussex have launched an urgent investigation after disgraceful scenes at the weekend varsity sporting event.

Thousands of students attended the games which ended with police called after drunken scenes and students taken to in hospital.

The football game was marred by one of the referees being hit three times by objects including cans while flares were thrown onto the pitch during play.

The rugby game – played immediately after the football ended – was abandoned after similar scenes.

Professors Adam Tickell (VC University of Sussex) and Debra Humphris (VC University of Brighton) said: “The scenes witnessed today at the annual Varsity sports day were shocking and disgraceful.

“A full investigation has been launched into events and any students identified as having participated in the disorder will face serious consequences under our codes of discipline.

“We unreservedly condemn the behaviour.

“The future of fixtures will be under review as part of our wider investigation.”