Thursday, August 8, 2013

It's raining seats in Myanmar

Naypyidaw fans caught in the act of throwing seats onto the pitch
Yangon United have just clinched their third consecutive Myanmar National League championship but it isn't all sweetness and light as the country gears up to host the forthcoming SEA Games in December. Two matches involving the champions have seen crowd disturbances in recent weeks, both of them in matches away from Yangon. Visiting supporters were escorted out of the ground and onto their buses by police during a match at Yadanarbon recently for their own safety. Then last week, their game in the capital of Naypyidaw was abandoned before half-time when a section of the home fans went on the rampage, throwing plastic seats from the grandstand onto the pitch, and invading the playing area while the game was in progress. No doubt the crowd of 20,000 went home pissed when the rioters caused the game to be abandoned and Yangon awarded the match as they were leading at the time. There were no police at the stadium only security guards, who struggled to control the riot. The brand new Wunna Theikdi stadium, which was being used for the first time, will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the SEA Games that will begin at the start of December. If you are thinking of attending, take a crash helmet. In fact, the Cambodian U-16s go to Naypyidaw in a little over a week to play in the AFF U-16 Championships. Let's hope the local fans are less upset watching the youth players perform.
Security struggle to restrain an unruly Naypyidaw fan from invading the pitch

Broken seats litter the ground. Over 150 seats were ruined. Pictures from Yangon Utd Facebook.

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