Violent fan clashes mar Pakistan-Afghanistan cricket match (VIDEO)
Two cricket fans in Pakistan were killed as they celebrated their country reaching the final of the Asia Cup final, reports have claimed.
Pakistan secured a chance to win the tournament in the T20 format by beating Afghanistan at the Sharjah International Stadium in the UAE, which caused jubilant fans to take to the streets back home.
According to Pakistan news outlet Geo Live, two of them in the city of Peshawar were killed when partygoers fired shots into the air.
In addition to the fatalities, three women were injured which led to 41 people being arrested so far for their alleged part in the incident.
Scenes inside the Sharjah International Stadium were just as chaotic as Pakistan and Afghanistan fans clashed with one another.
Upset by being deprived of the opportunity to play Sri Lanka in the decider on Sunday, Afghanistan supporters ripped chairs out of the ground and hurled them at their Pakistani counterparts, who returned the favor by throwing the chairs back.
Separately, there have been unconfirmed claims that Pakistan fans were killed outside the stadium, but video footage shows fans from each side engaging in conflict.
Rallies and celebrations in various parts of Peshawar as Pakistan knockouts Afghanistan out of the #AsiaCup2022. #NaseemShah Zindabad slogans eco in the streets.Note - There were no such scenes when Pakistan defeated India 3 days ago. IYKWIM😜#Afgvpak#PAKvAFGpic.twitter.com/yqZS1zxWzl— Asfandyar Bhittani (@BhittaniKhannnn) September 7, 2022
This is what Afghan fans are doing. This is what they've done in the past multiple times.This is a game and its supposed to be played and taken in the right spirit.@ShafiqStanikzai your crowd & your players both need to learn a few things if you guys want to grow in the sport. pic.twitter.com/rg57D0c7t8— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) September 7, 2022
Some clips inside the venue have revealed an unarmed Pakistan fan being hit on the back with a chair multiple times.
Some Afghan fans were seen trying to snatch chairs from their compatriots and calm them down.
Nevertheless, legendary ex-Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar condemned rival fans on social media and urged their country's cricket board and its chief executive Shafiq Stanikazi to act.
"This is what Afghan fans are doing. This is what they've done in the past multiple times," Akhtar tweeted while sharing a clip of the fracas.
"This is a game and it's supposed to be played and taken in the right spirit.
"Shafiq Stanikzai your crowd and your players both need to learn a few things if you guys want to grow in the sport," Akhtar demanded.
Replying, Stanikazi said to Akhtar that you "can’t control the emotions of the crowd and such incidents happened in the world of cricket."
Claims have been made that the scuffles took place because Afghanistan bowler Fareed Malik verbally abused Asif Ali, which sparked a row between the players.
There are fears that the meeting between India and Afghanistan in the third-place play-off and the final between Pakistan and Sri Lanka could bring further trouble.
Coming into their showdown, Pakistan and Afghanistan also had previous. In 2019, fans scuffled and ran onto the pitch at Headingly in England after Pakistan pulled off a thrilling win over their regional rivals.