Yangon - Football authorities in Myanmar on Thursday blamed
a "mindset" problem among some fans after hooliganism marred a
women's national team match against Vietnam - the latest in a series of violent
flare ups at the country's stadiums.
A small group of supporters went on the rampage Tuesday
night in Mandalay, tearing up stadium seats and destroying a public toilet
block, after a penalty was awarded against Myanmar in the dying minutes of the
The penalty allowed Vietnam to equalise and the visitors
went on to win the AFF Women's Championship semi-final on penalties, knocking
Myanmar from the tournament.
Officials had to halt the match for half an hour between the
end of the second half and extra time because of the rioting.
"This is kind of a mindset problem," Zaw Min
Htike, media director of the Myanmar Football Federation, told AFP, saying more
needed to be done to make fans "understand and accept the rules of
He added that he took solace from the fact that many other
Myanmar fans tried to calm down the hardcore supporters when the violence broke
"There were some seats destroyed by bad fans and they
even destroyed the public toilets in the stadium. That's bad," he said.
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Mandalay's stadium was packed with some 30,000 fans on
Tuesday night, proof that women's teams can draw equally large crowds in the
football loving nation.
However hooliganism at Myanmar's football matches has been
common in recent years.
In 2011, the country was banned from World Cup qualifiers by
the sport's organising body after a home tie against Oman had to be stopped
when the crowd pelted the opposition with bottles and rocks.
The ban was eventually lifted on appeal.
Two years later police in Yangon used water cannon to
disperse rioting fans who tore up seats, burned shirts and hurled stones at
officers after the hosts were dumped out of the Southeast Asian Games.For
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