Furious UAE fans hurl SHOES at Qatar players during Asian Cup grudge match (VIDEO)
Playing in Abu Dhabi, the UAE's humiliating 4-0 defeat proved too much for some home fans, who responded by hurling objects including shoes at the Qatar team as they celebrated scoring.
The game was dubbed by some as “The Blockade Derby” in reference to the fraught political relations between the two nations.
The UAE is part of a group of states that imposed a blockade on Qatar in 2017 over alleged sponsorship of terrorism and ties with Iran.
Fans throwing shoes at the Qatari players after they score their 2nd goal 😲 pic.twitter.com/zCxyhZeWOc— Jordan Gardner (@mrjordangardner) January 29, 2019
The Qatari anthem was roundly booed ahead of Tuesday’s semifinal, which ended in a thumping win for the away team thanks to first-half strikes from Boualem Khoukhi and Almoez Ali, and second-half goals from Hassan Al-Haydos and Hamid Ismail.
Some UAE fans vented their anger by chucking footwear at Qatar players as they celebrated near the touchline – seen as among the worst insults in Arabic culture.
Midfielder Salem Al-Hajri also appeared to be struck on the head after his team’s third goal at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium. The UAE saw Ismail Ahmed sent off in injury time.
The incidents after the goals caused a hold-up in play, with some UAE players imploring fans not to continue their protests.
Qatar, who are 2022 World Cup hosts, progressed to the final for the first time, and will meet four-time winners Japan at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Coached by Felix Sanchez, Qatar have scored 16 goals without reply at the tournament so far, and earlier bagged bragging rights over another of their political rivals by beating Saudi Arabia 2-0 during the group stage.
✔️ Equal most goals at an Asian Cup – Almoez Ali ✔️ Goal difference of 16-0✔️ First team to not concede in opening six Asian Cup gamesHigh-flying Qatar 🇶🇦 ticking off milestones at #AsianCup2019#WorldCupRead more 👉 https://t.co/x6VLQQld1qpic.twitter.com/59Tcl6TpZG— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) January 30, 2019