Afghan FC fans attack PIA players, coaches

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 [the news]
KARACHI: Afghan FC leapfrogged to the second spot after holding Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to a 1-1 draw on Monday in their match of the 8th Pakistan Premier Football League which was marred by a scuffle between the spectators and players.

According to eyewitnesses, there were frequent exchanges of hot words between the players of both the sides during the game supervised by neutral referee Shafaat Habib at the Sadiq Shaheed Stadium in Quetta.

A source said that after the final whistle a player of Afghan FC spat in the face of a PIA player during a fiery conversation. In the meantime, a group of Afghan FC’s supporters attacked the players of PIA and their coach Shamim Khan and beat them up severely. Shamim, a former international, is said to have received a blow in his jaw which jolted his teeth, a source said.

A source said when the crowd attacked PIA players and officials Afghan FC players rushed to their support and severely beat a couple of supporters in order to prevent the situation from deterioration. After the incident PIA players were escorted by police to their hotel. Sources said that the supporters, who usually come from Chaman are generally uncontrollable.

All this did not happen for the first time. In the first phase before Ramadan at the same venue, PAF players and assistant referee Nasir Ahmed were attacked by Afghan FC players and fans after which PAF forfeited their next two games against Muslim FC and Baloch FC. After a few days, again at the same venue Army key players Imran Hussain and Shakeel Ahmed were fined and suspended by the PFF for assaulting a referee during their game against Afghan FC.

Earlier, the match between Afghan FC and PIA remained tense with both sides offering tough resistance to each other. Afghan FC went ahead in the 32nd minute through Zabeehullah before PIA brought the parity through Abdul Ghaffar in the 70th minute.

The single point helped Afghan FC jump to the second spot with 39 points from 18 games, getting a slight edge over Muslim FC on goal-difference.

The fourth-placed PIA inflated their tally to 38 from 21 meetings.

Meanwhile, in other match at the same venue, Baloch FC stunned Karachi Port Trust (KPT) 1-0 with Sher Dil Khan scoring the lone goal in the fourth minute that also took their points to 16 from 18 appearances. The loss left KPT at the eighth place with 27 points from 21 matches.

At the Municipal Stadium in Rawalpindi, PMC Athletico notched their third win from 19 games with a 1-0 victory over Pakistan Air Force (PAF) thanks to Nadeem Aamir’s 48th minute strike. The result leaves PMC Athletico gain another precious 3 points to avoid relegation while PAF continue to struggle to avoid it.