Friday, March 16, 2012
KARACHI: National Football Challenge Cup match between defending champions Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) and Police was abandoned after the referee was assaulted by the players of the former team in the first half at the People’s Sports Complex here on Thursday, 15 March 2012.
Eye witnesses told ‘The News’ that when Shaikhupura-based referee Irshadul Haq awarded penalty to KRL in the 16th minute of the first half, some of the Police players started arguing with the referee, which ultimately led to a scuffle in which the referee was also slapped.
Other referees and officials intervened, but the incident forced the match commissioner to abandon the vital game of Group C. Witnesses said that no one was injured during the scuffle. Match commissioner Iqbal Junior looked terrified when this correspondent met him after the incident. ‘The News’ learnt that the match commissioner Iqbal Junior has sent his report to the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) who will decide within 24 hours the fate of Police.
Following the incident it seems evident that those players who have violated the discipline will be banned for two or three matches and KRL would be awarded three points and three goals which would put them in the quarter-finals. They have already defeated National Youth A 2-1 in their opener.
“In the light of the report of the match commissioner, action will be taken against the team and its players who breached the discipline,” a top PFF official said.“We will decide it in 24 hours,” he said.
Meanwhile, in another Group C match at the KPT Stadium, National Youth A, who last year featured in the AFC Under-19 Championship Qualifiers in Iran, held National Bank to a goalless draw.
It was a tough game with both sides offering hard resistance to each other. National Youth A performed excellently, but failed to capitalise on the opportunities that came their way. In the 61st minute, National Youth A were reduced to ten men when midfielder Sher Mohammad was sent off for double booking. At this stage, National Bank inflicted a few nasty rallies, but National Youth A goalkeeper Saqib Hanif made a couple of a splendid saves to help his side open their account with a single point.
“The team played overall a good game. A few chances were missed, but it’s part of the game,” National Youth A manager Mohammad Habib said. NBP coach Nasir Ismail remained satisfied with his team’s performance. “I am happy with the way my team played today. The same Under-19 team had beaten us 0-4 in a friendly, but today we played better game and a lot of aggression was seen from our boys, which is encouraging,” Nasir said.
With the draw NBP, who had also played 1-1 draw against Police, took their points to two. They are to face KRL in their last match on Saturday (tomorrow) which will decide their fate. National Youth A will meet Police on the same day.
Pakistan’s coach Zavisa Milosavljevic and his wife Lilian also saw the show.
In a Group B tie, tournament hosts Karachi Port Trust (KPT) crushed Gwadar Port Authority 4-1 to qualify for the quarter-finals with six points. KPT went ahead through a goal from Waseem Cheena in the 25th minute. At half time, they had 1-0 lead. After the breather they added three more goals through Jamaluddin, Mohamamd Bin Younis and Zafar Majeed to seal a comfortable victory. Tariq Badal hit the consolation goal for Gwadar Port Authority in the 63rd minute.
KESC defeated Pakistan Steel 2-0 in a Group B match to throw them out of the competition. Skipper Mohammad Essa put KESC ahead in the 26th minute before Mohammad Rasool doubled their lead in the injury time. KESC moved to four points from two meetings.
Today’s fixtures: Army v PAF (KPT Stadium, 2:00pm), Pak PWD v Railways (Peoples Sports Complex, 2:00pm), WAPDA v Navy (KPT Stadium, 4:15pm)