Violence Mars Persian Gulf Pro League Game

Tens of spectators and some police officers were injuredTens of spectators and some police officers were injured

A match between Persepolis and Esteghlal Khuzestan in the third week of the Persian Gulf Pro League, which ended 0-0 on Friday, was hit by a wave of hooliganism.

The vandalism by both teams’ fans at Ghadir Stadium in Ahvaz was the latest demonstration of unacceptable behavior.

As soon as the game began, curses toward the Persepolis players could be heard in the stadium.

As the hostile act continued, Persepolis keeper Alireza Beiranvand tried to pull out the team from the field but the game organizers and officials made effort to calm them down and sent them back to the ground.

In the 50-centigrade temperature in the southern oil city, a group of rowdy spectators went a step further and started hurling stones, picked up from the interior gardens of the stadium, at the players.

In the melee, fans from both sides picked a bone with each other that brought the police to the scene.

From broken seats to the cement particles, everything was thrown into the pitch wounding players in the head.

Reports said tens of spectators and some police officers were injured.

As Tasnim News Agency reported, the fight continued outside the stadium and into the streets.

The Khuzestan-based club officials believe their fans were provoked by Persepolis fans’ disrespectful acts during a game between the other Khuzestan club, Foolad, and Persepolis last week when the Tehran club fans had insulted the football society of the southern province.

After the Friday game, Persepolis player Hossein Mahini rued the incident and blamed Persepolis Fan Club leader (and his chants) for the violence in the Foolad-Persepolis game in the second week of the league at Azadi Stadium of Tehran.

“It’s not the first time the incompetent fan leader of Persepolis causes division between the fans,” said Mahini. “Our leader previously turned the fans against former club players (after they left the team) including Farshad Ahmadzadeh and Mehdi Taremi”.

According to Mahini, the leader triggered chants about Khuzestan football fans at the game between Foolad and Persepolis which culminated in the revenge and violence on Friday.

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