UAE fined, ordered to play one match behind closed doors for crowd trouble during AFC Asian Cup 2019 semifinal

Sajith B Warrier

Kuala Lumpur, March 12: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Disciplinary and Ethics Committee sanctioned the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Football Association with a fine of $150,000 following the incidents that occurred during their AFC Asian Cup 2019 semifinal match against Qatar on January 29 at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

In addition, the UAE have also been ordered to play one match under closed doors, which will come into effect during their AFC Asian Cup 2023 Qualifiers.

It may be recalled that Qatar thrashed UAE 4-0 in the semifinal of the AFC Asian Cup 2019, during which the visitors were at the receiving end right throughout the 90 minutes of play.

In a match held amidst high political tensions, the visitors were booed by a partisan crowd right from the moment the Qatar national anthem was played. It did not end there. Sandals and water bottles were thrown at them whenever Qatar scored and choicest of abuses were hurled by local crowd during the course of the match.

Al Duhai strker and Star player Almoez Ali, who equalled Iranian striker Ali Daei's long-standing record for most goals in an AFC Asian Cup, was pelted with slippers as he celebrated his team's second goal.

A number of bottles were also thrown at Qatar's last two scorers - captain Hassan Al Haydos and Hamid Ismail -- as they celebrated their maiden march into the final of the tournament, which they went on to win, defeating formidable Japan 3-1 in the final.

The AFC added that UAE FA was required to settle the fine within 30 days and has been informed that any future violations may be met with more severe punishment.

(Source: AFC)

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