Penalty leads to chaos in Iraqi match

BAGHDAD - A 96th-minute penalty that sparked a punch-up, a sending off and a pitch invasion has led the Iraqi Football Union to order a national league match to be replayed, an official said on Sunday.

BAGHDAD - A 96th-minute penalty that sparked a punch-up, a sending off and a pitch invasion has led the Iraqi Football Union to order a national league match to be replayed, an official said on Sunday.

The game between league leaders Dohuk from the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq and visitors Electricity Club of Baghdad was poised at 0-0 when the referee decided on the spot-kick, enraging the visiting team.

An Electricity player who refused to allow the penalty had to be hospitalised after he was attacked with an iron bar.

"In the 96th minute the referee awarded a penalty to Dohuk when the match should have been over," Electricity Club official Majid Hamid said. "Only five minutes of extra time had been awarded, but it was extended to six minutes."

Electricity player Ali Wahib was red-carded for protesting the penalty but he refused to leave the field and would not let the spot-kick be taken.

"One of the Dohuk club's people then beat Ali Wahib on the head with an iron bar and he had to be taken to hospital. We then decided to withdraw our team from the field to protect them from Dohuk's supporters," Hamid said.

Dohuk are leading the league and Electricity are fighting relegation.

An official of the Iraqi Football Union said it has ordered the game be replayed behind closed doors at a neutral venue. - AFP

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