Jordan's Handball Federation Suspends West Asian Qualifiers
The Jordan Handball Federation (JHF) on Wednesday cancelled the final match between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait after acts of hooliganism among fans and players in the West Asian Handball qualifiers, reported the Jordan Times newspaper.
Sari Hamdan, president of the JHF said the decision was final adding the JHF had sent a letter to the Asian Handball Federation "informing them of our regret not to continue with the final match because of fan violence."
"It is a final decision and we will not accept any compromise," Hamdan told the Jordan Times.
He underlined that Jordan will never be a stage for hooliganism in any event, especially when neighboring Arab countries are involved.
"Jordan has always been a country of principles and generosity. We will never be known as a place for hooliganism," he pointed out.
The destiny of the qualifying team to the World Cup final in France next year in still unknown.
Hamdan pointed out that it was now for the Asian Federation to solve the issue.
Sources said the referees who had officiated one of the matches marred by violence were again selected to officiate the final match
"I have discussed the issue with Minister of Youth Saeed Shuqum. We will ask the Asian Federation to be fair in appointing referees who have dignity and an unbiased supervisor."
Violence had erupted after the match between Jordan and the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday when players from the UAE team attacked a Jordanian player, said the paper.
The Jordanian team jumped to help their team-mate, which ended in a fight among players of the two teams.
Two policemen were injured trying to stop the fight, said the paper.
The match ended with Jordan winning the match 35-32 in overtime.
Jordan came in the fifth place after losing their chance to qualify when they tied 21-21 with the Kuwaiti team in must-win match. They had also lost to Qatar 22-21.
Violence also erupted in the match between Kuwait and Syria, which spread to the fans who threw bottles at the players.
The match was stopped in the second half when the Iranian referee ejected Syria's Mohammad Haddad from the match.
Haddad and his teammates then had a fight with the Kuwaiti fans which resulted in some injuries to the fans and players.
The JHF president ordered the match to continue after asking the fans to leave the court as Kuwait won the match 27-24 to reach the final match against Saudi Arabia.
Following the decision to cancel the final match on Wednesday, eyewitness said the violence had spread outside the court to the hotel where the Kuwaiti and Saudi fans were staying, according to the paper - Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)