Last updated: 29 July, 2011

Crowd trouble ends Myanmar-Oman game

A 2014 World Cup qualifier between Myanmar and Oman was abandoned after home fans in the Yangon stadium pelted the pitch with rocks, shoes and water bottles, according to a government official.

A member of the Oman coaching team suffered a head injury as the Myanmar fans went on the rampage after Oman took a 2-0 lead in the game on Thursday, the Myanmar official told AFP.

“The match was stopped after the first 39 minutes because security forces lost control of the Myanmar football fans,” he said, adding that about 30,000 supporters were at the ground in total.

The identity of the injured man could not immediately be confirmed.

A statement on the website of world footballing body FIFA confirmed the match was “brought to a sudden close” after “local supporters hurled objects repeatedly onto the field”.

“The final status of the match will be confirmed by the relevant body in due course,” FIFA said.

Oman won the previous round 2-0.

The Myanmar official said some of the fans sang the national anthem as they threw objects onto the pitch. “The Oman goal keeper dared not to stay on the ground.”

A witness to the violence said some players may also have been hit.

Trouble started at the Tuwana stadium after Oman went 2-0 up with a penalty.

Myanmar Football Federation (MFF) chief Zaw Zaw and members of the Oman team tried to negotiate a way for the match to continue, a second Myanmar government official said.

“FIFA didn’t accept the situation and decided to stop the game completely,” he told AFP.

The MFF could not be reached for comment.

Football is the most popular sport by far in Myanmar.

The country, which has a new nominally civilian government after nearly 50 years of army rule, has made efforts to become more internationally active.

It is set to host the SEA Games, a Southeast Asian sporting tournament, in 2013.