By Alam Zeb Safi – The News
KARACHI: A brawl between two football teams at the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) Stadium in the dying moments of a match here on Sunday left at least seven players injured, two of them severely.
Witnesses told ‘The News’ that three minutes before full time in the Pakistan Premier Football League match between Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and Nushki’s Baloch FC the players started a fight after a player of Baloch FC was shown yellow card by the referee. The score was 1-1.
A source who saw the match said that another player of Baloch FC hit with his boot a KPT player lying on the ground. This forced the referee to send him off with a red card. “Suddenly the players of both sides started beating each other,” the source said.
A few minutes later security forces stationed inside the KPT Sports Complex reached the spot and brought the situation under control, the source said.
Another source said that security forces took Ibrahim, the assistant manager of Baloch FC, into custody but later released him.
Among the injured were KPT’s Ubaid, Zafar Majeed, Junaid and Naved.
A KPT source said that Junaid had at least four stitches on his chin, while the injuries of the other three were minor. The injured players of Baloch FC were Abdul Nabi, Wali Khan and Sher Zaman. Abdul Nabi received injuries on his mouth, head and legs. However, a Baloch FC team source said that after treatment Abdul Nabi was feeling well.
A Baloch FC team source claimed that it was KPT’s goalkeeper who started the battle. “We were also beaten by the public. Being guests, we have been maltreated,” he said.
Sources said that the match commissioner served show cause notices to both teams. He will send his recommendations to the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) after reading the referee’s report.
The referee ended the game soon after the incident and both sides shared one point each.
Baloch FC had got the lead through Habibullah in the 17th minute. Mohammad bin Younis levelled it for KPT in the 75th minute.
Earlier at the same venue, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) crushed Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) 5-1. At half time, PAF were leading 3-0. Arif Nawaz and Mansoor Khan hit two goals each for PAF. Mohammad Zeeshan scored the fifth one. Mohammad Moosa landed a consolation goal for KESC.
“We played exceptionally well today,” PAF assistant coach Mohammad Arshad told this correspondent.
“The boys played under a specific plan that paid off,” said Arshad, a former international.
The victory took PAF to 24 points from 14 games. KESC have 32 after 15 meetings.
At the KMC Stadium, ten-men National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) held Army to a goalless draw. NBP’s Wasim Qadir was sent off in the 40th minute for double booking.
“We had planned to slow down the pace in order to trouble the energetic Army and to attack from the wings. And I am happy that the youngsters did a fine job to hold a very good team,” NBP coach Nasir Ismail said.
Army’s coach Major Shafqat was not happy with the way their opponents played. “The rivals opted for delaying tactics. One can slow down the pace of the game but one should not use other types of delaying tactics as it breaks the tempo of the match,” said Shafqat, who has got License A coaching certificate from Germany.
Army advanced to 22 points after 13 matches. NBP moved to 19 after 16.
The game between WAPDA and PIA ended in a 1-1 draw at the Korangi Baloch Ground in Sharafi Goth.
Arif Mehmood put WAPDA ahead in the 69th minute. PIA levelled it through Zeeshan Ali in the 89th minute. WAPDA rose to 26 points from 15 outings, while PIA climbed to 26 after 18 appearances.
Today’s fixtures: Muslim FC v Navy (KPT Stadium, Karachi).