Afghan FC beat NBP in controversial circumstances

KARACHI: Strongly backed by referees, Chaman’s Afghan FC beat star-studded National Bank 1-0 while Karachi Port Trust (KPT) overwhelmed Police 2-1 in matches of the 8th Pakistan Premier Football League held at the Sadiq Shaheed Stadium in Quetta on Monday.

Afghan FC, who have won 90 percent of their home matches in the Premier League with the support of referees and a fanatic crowd, continued to inflate their points tally when they downed strong National Bank by a slender margin in front of a packed stadium.

Captain Jadeed Khan Pathan produced the winner in the 61st minute that also took their tally to 35 points from 16 games, just below second-placed PIA on goal-difference. National Bank coach Nasir Ismail blamed partial refereeing for his team’s defeat.

“It was not a proper match because it was a fight between 14 and 11. It was a big off-side but still the referee awarded goal to Afghan FC. The authorities should tell me why FIFA referees have refused to supervise those matches involving Afghan FC. If the matches of Karachi, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi are being supervised by neutral referees why local referees are being installed here, particularly in the matches of Afghan FC,” Nasir told ‘The News’ from Quetta.

“Sardar Hanif, Mohammad Arshad and Ubaidullah supervised our match and handed victory to their own team,” Nasir alleged. “There are no security arrangements here. Only one person was supporting our team and survived an injury when he was shielded at the right time by the KPT players when the local crowd tried to throw him down the stands,” Nasir said.

The loss left National Bank at 31 points from 19 appearances. Meanwhile in another match, KPT recovered from 0-1 down to defeat newly-promoted Police 2-1 to take their points to 27 from 19 matches.

Police, under coach Akber Raisani, broke the deadlock in the 45th minute through Mohammad Zarif. However, soon after the breather, Naveed Ahmad brought an equaliser for KPT with a decent field effort. At this stage, a gruelling fight was witnessed between the two equally balanced sides but it were KPT that took the decisive lead when Jamal Uddin beat the goalie through a pile-driver from distance.

The defeat left Police struggling with 15 points from 17 meetings.

Today’s fixtures: KRL v PAF, Baloch FC v HBL, Muslim FC v PIA