UAE football teams punished after fighting on pitch and in stands in league match

Al Ain and Al Wahda must each play their next four games behind closed doors after skirmishes during fixture

Al Wahda's Ismail Matar, right, seen here in a game played last year, has been suspended for attacking an opposing player. Photo: PLC
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Two UAE football teams have been ordered to play their next four games behind closed doors and three of their players have been suspended after an on-pitch brawl and crowd trouble marred an Adnoc Pro League match on Saturday.

The UAE Football Association on Tuesday confirmed it was suspending two players from Al Wadha and one from Al Ain over the fracas during the fixture.

Al Wahda's Ismail Matar was hit with a two-match ban and will be fined Dh200,000 for attacking an opposing player.

Teammate Khamis Ismail will miss two games and was fined Dh90,000 for attempting to assault an opposing player.

Al Ain's Eric Jurgens was handed a three-match suspension and a fine of Dh150,000 for assaulting a security guard.

Al Ain players Sufian Rahimi, Khaled Issa and Nasser Al Shukaili were each fined Dh25,000 and given a warning for poor sportsmanship.

The committee also said Al Ain's fitness coach will be banned from accompanying his team for four matches and fined Dh75,000 for his involvement in the brawl.

The UAEFA said it will also punish both clubs by forcing them to play their next four matches without an audience in the Adnoc Pro League due to their fans’ behaviour.

Arrests ordered over crowd trouble

UAE authorities had previously ordered the arrest of football fans who also brawled during the match between Al Ain and Al Wahda.

Videos circulating on social media show a number of fans jumping from the stands and fighting during the Adnoc Pro League top of the table clash.

Al Ain won the game 1-0 at Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution said they would respond firmly to anyone who breaks the law.

They urged football fans to act responsibly and avoid acts that may endanger the lives and safety of others.

“UAE laws provide protection for all individuals and set strict penalties for those violating laws and regulations in order to ensure the security and safety of all members of the public,” prosecutors said.

Abu Dhabi Police also called on the public to act responsibly.

“We urge football fans to avoid intolerance on and off the field and on social media,” the force said.

Police also called on those attending games to co-operate with officers who are regulating traffic on the roads and entrances leading to the stadium.

Updated: March 15, 2022, 4:34 PM