KESC’s victory marred by violence

Saddam Hussein in action for PIA (maroon) against KESC (white)

KARACHI: Karachi Electric Supply Company’s 2-0 victory over Pakistan International Airlines in their match of the Pakistan Premier Football League was marred by an unfortunate incident when two spectators were hit by stray bullets.

The incident took place in the second-half when two young spectators sitting in the Mir Dad enclosure were hit by stray bullets. One of them received an injury in his head while the other in his chest and both were shifted to a local hospital, the KPT Sports Manager Shah Naeem told ‘The News’.

“The one who was hit in the chest is in a better condition while the other is in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital and efforts are being made to save his life,” Shah said.

One of the injured is said to be associated with the football club Keamari Mohammadan.

“I don’t know from where the bullets came from as there was no noise of a gun-shot,” match-commissioner Shakoor Baloch said.

Media reports suggested that two armed groups were engaged in fighting in the vicinity of the stadium. And due to the poor law and order situation, PIA reached the venue just ahead of kick-off which affected their performance.

The fragile security conditions have been persistently affecting the matches of the PPFL.

The other day, Army had forfeited their game against National Bank due to aerial firing outside the KPT stadium. On their request their match against PIA was shifted from KPT stadium to Sharafi Goth. Although, there is fool-proof security in both the KPT and People’s Sports Complex, teams are usually affected during their vehicular movement.

On the pitch, meanwhile, Mohammad gave KESC the lead in the 27th minute before emerging midfielder Mohammad Riaz doubled their lead when he capitalised on a pass from striker Mohammad Rasool in the 89th.

“It was a team effort but our forwards didn’t click and we should’ve scored more goals,” KESC manager Hasan Baloch told ‘The News’.

PIA coach Shamim Khan blamed his teamís late arrival in the stadium as the reason behind his sideís defeat.

“We reached the venue barely five minutes before kick-off as we had to stop while on way due to security fears. Our players did not do warm-up and we came under pressure with an early goal against us,” Shamim said.

“I told the match commissioner after fans were hit by bullets that the match should be stopped but he did not agree.”

The win meant that KESC stretched their points to eight from four games while PIA have nine points from four appearances.

At the Sadiq Shaheed Stadium in Quetta, Police edged Pak Elektron Limited (PEL) 1-0 with Sher Hassan scoring the winner in the 70th minute. With the victory, Police took their points to nine from four games while PEL have one point from four appearances.

Today’s fixtures: Baloch FC v Muslim FC (Nushki Football Stadium, Nushki), KPT v NBP (KPT Football Stadium, Karachi)