PAF-Afghan FC clash marred by ugly scenes

PIA captain Nasrullah kicks the ball with PMC and former National Team captain Haroon Yusuf looking on in the background.
KARACHI: Quetta’s Sadiq Shaheed Football Stadium turned into a battlefield on Saturday as ugly scenes were witnessed at the end of the Pakistan Premier Football League match between Chaman’s Afghan FC and Pakistan Air Force (PAF).

Assistant referee Nisar Ahmed and PAF players were assaulted by the fans and players of the Afghan FC just after the final whistle after Afghan FC levelled the match 1-1 in the dying moments.

Sources said that Nisar Ahmed was then taken by the PAF team officials and players to their room. However, PAF coach Mohammad Arshad said that the fans also took out pistols during the episode which lasted for a few minutes. But the police brought the situation under control.

During the incident, PAF player Mohammed Irfan also recieved a head injury.

PAF players and officials stayed in the dressing room for about one and a half hour after the match before they were taken out of the venue at around 8:30pm in thick security cover. Mohammad Shafique, who was the match commissioner, was said to have left the venue after the incident. ‘The News’ tried to contact the match-commissioner but he had switched off his mobile phone.

“I was almost killed by the assailants but thank God I am still alive,” Nisar Ahmed told ‘The News’ in a staggering voice.

“I will not go out of the dressing unless I am provided with security,” the referee said.

A police official, Noor Bakhsh, told this correspondent that after the incident the police vacated the stadium and the situation had been brought under control. “The incident has also been reported,” the official said.

The PAF management has sent its report to the PFF, the PAF coach Arshad said. The president of the Balochistan Football Association Mir Mohammad Jan Marri has called for a ban on Afghan FC.

“The players and fans of Afghan FC took the step to disturb the environment here by attacking the players of PAF and assistant referee because they want that their matches should be conducted in Chaman so that they could earn more money through gate-fee,” Marri told The ‘News’.

“I cannot tolerate the inhumane treatment towards my guests and I appeal to the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) to impose a ban on the Afghan FC as through its presence in the league the playing environment has been greatly disturbed,” Marri said.

In the first game held at the same venue, Navy beat Police 2-1 while in other match of the day held here at the Sharafi Goth Football Stadium in Korangi Baloch PIA thrashed PMC Athletico 6-2.

Today’s fixtures: PEL v Army (Sadiq Shaheed Stadium Quetta), KESC v WAPDA (Peoples Sports Complex, Karachi), KPT v KRL (KPT Stadium, Karachi).