Iranian police clash with anti-Saudi fans at game
Iranian police on Tuesday clashed with protesters demonstrating
against Saudi Arabia during a match between Iran’s Piroozi team and
the Saudi al-Ittihad club.
The 200 protesters, out of a crowd of 10,000, chanted ”death to
Saudi,” objecting to the role of Saudi armed forces in the bloody
crackdown by the Bahraini monarchy on its Shiite subjects over the
Iran’s Piroozi team, meanwhile, won the match 3-2, with two
goals by Hamid Reza Ali Asgari, in the 13th and 68th minute and one
by Shpejtim Arifi in the 16th minute.
Al-Ittihad’s Mohammed al-Rashid and Sekou Berthe scored in the
19th minute and during injury time in the second half,
The game was part of the Group C competition of the Asia
Champions League, but also took place between two regional
powerhouses on either side of the Middle East’s deep Sunni-Shiite
An eyewitness told The Associated Press that two protesters were
seriously injured. The Fars News Agency added that several
protesters were detained.
Police expelled the protesters from the match in the middle of
the second half.
The unrest in Bahrain, which erupted in February, has played out
against the region’s deep rivalries between Shiite and Sunni
Muslims. Protesters from Bahrain’s Shiite majority have demanded
that the kingdom’s Sunni minority rulers grant them equal rights
and a political voice.
Saudi Arabia, a largely Sunni nation, has rushed to the aid of
Bahrain, while other Gulf countries have accused predominantly
Shiite Iran of meddling in Bahrain’s affairs by allegedly trying to
stir Shiite unrest there.