Ed Balls and Rob Merrick
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Ed Balls draws blood in clash with reporter in charity match

Ed Balls left an opponent with a bloodied eye in the annual party conference football match between Labour and political journalists.

The shadow chancellor clashed with the Northern Echo's Rob Merrick in the game at Manchester City's Etihad complex. Mr Balls told BBC Breakfast that "we collided" and Mr Merrick said, in an interview on the Daily Politics, that it was "an accident".

Two years ago Mr Balls was involved in a controversial penalty incident in the conference football match. After winning and scoring the penalty he told teammates "I was not deliberately going down".

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