Mon, Dec 11, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Asian Games: Doha field hockey clash degenerates into chaos


Security guards yesterday rushed to intervene in a mid-pitch clash between stick-wielding players after the conclusion of the Asian Games men's field hockey encounter between Oman and Bangladesh.

The match spiraled out of control in the final stages as Bangladesh scored twice in the last four minutes to defeat Oman 5-3, and then things erupted into a confrontation watched by stunned spectators and officials including International Hockey Federation president Els van Breda Vriesman.

The Bangladesh-Oman match was to determine the fourth position in the preliminary Group B standings, but produced an acrimonious exchange of words and deliberate fouls on rival players.

Players exchanged heated words and jostled as they walked off the pitch, but it all blew out of control when Omani player Hossam Hassan stick charged at Bangladesh's Mamunur Rahman, who appeared to have been hit in the groin and had to be carried off on stretcher.

Security staff rushed in from all corners of the field.

The Asian Hockey Federation scheduled an urgent disciplinary meeting and was expected to release its findings later yesterday.

Oman coach Mohie Saad al Zaghlool said the incident occurred due to the high-pressure situation.

"The players were nervous and the referees didn't do their job well," al Zaghlool said.

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