Syrian football and basketball associations penalize five clubs over riot, unfair play

Al-Wahda Damascene club fans - 11 February 2022 (the club’s Facebook page)

Al-Wahda Damascene club fans - 11 February 2022 (the club’s Facebook page)

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The Syrian Football Association has imposed a list of penalties on al-Wahda, al-Fotuwa, and Altaliaa clubs, including financial fines and holding matches without an audience.

In parallel, the Syrian Basketball Association also imposed financial fines that included al-Karama and al-Fayhaa clubs for administrative and disciplinary reasons.

The Syrian Football Association approved sanctions against the al-Wahda club for its withdrawal from a match with the Tishreen club on 17 April, which included a 3-0 loss by law and a fine of 250,000 Syrian pounds (90 US dollars).

It also included a one-year suspension for the al-Wahda club manager, Assaf Khalifa, for ordering the players to withdraw from the match and leave the field and a fine of only 200,000 Syrian pounds (75 US dollars).

The club was also fined 500,000 Syrian pounds (180 US dollars) for insulting the referee and the opponent’s fans, and a warning was given to the president of the al-Wahda club, Anwar Abdulhay, for his negative role in addressing the withdrawal decision.

The local al-Wahda club withdrew from a football match that brought it together with Tishreen club on 15 April in the 20th round of the Syrian Premier League.

The match was stopped for about 27 minutes after al-Wahda players objected to a second penalty kick awarded by the match referee to the Tishreen team at al-Jalaa Stadium in Damascus, which prompted the referee to announce the end of the match with a legal victory for Tishreen 3-0 due to the withdrawal.

The Football Association also decided to hold all the remaining al-Wahda matches from the second leg on its land without an audience.

The Association also decided not to allow the president of al-Wahda club to attend all the remaining matches of the club inside and outside its territory until the end of the season’s matches, and if he is present, his team loses the match 3-0 legally.

Both presidents of al-Wahda and Tishreen clubs will be summoned to investigate their acts which were far from fair play, regarding the impact on the results of the two teams in the league and the Republic Cup, the Association said.

The incident sparked a great interaction on social media and left a wave of ridicule at the league, its levels, and its repeated blunders since the game was the third unfinished match this season, after the Tishreen match with Hutteen and al-Ittihad with al-Wathba.

The Syrian League is widely criticized for its low levels and the spread of corruption, and after each incident, comments from fans and waves of ridicule appear and demands to suspend the league.

The General Sports Union is also accused of losing the football system, failing to achieve positive results, and using the current conditions in Syria as an excuse to justify its failure.

Number of regime forces and players of al-Fotuwa and Jableh clubs following riot acts of the match - 19 April 2022 (Sham FM)

Number of regime forces and players of al-Fotuwa and Jableh clubs following riot acts of the match – 19 April 2022 (Sham FM)

“Al-Fotuwa” penalties

The Syrian Football Association imposed another list of penalties against al-Fotuwa club following riot acts of the match with Jableh club last Tuesday.

A number of al-Fotuwa fans broke down seats in the al-Fayhaa Stadium in Damascus, throwing stones and empty bottles at the stadium, and one of the fans tried to attack the refereeing staff with insults and beatings.

According to a statement published by the Association on 20 April, the penalties stipulate that all remaining al-Fotuwa club matches in the League and the Republic Cup will be held without an audience until the end of the current season.

The al-Fotuwa club was fined the value of the damages caused by the cracking by the club’s fans after its value was estimated by the Executive Committee in Damascus.

Suspending the administrator, Abdulellah Ramadan, from accompanying his team or being on the field of play or where the reserve sits until the end of the current season, and fined the club one million and 500,000 Syrian pounds (180 US dollars), and obligated the al-Fotuwa club to pay all previous financial fines incurred by it, issued by the Disciplinary Committee in the Football Association.

The club will be suspended from participating in the Republic Cup competition in the event of non-payment of fines until 7 May.

Altaliaa SC 

The penalties of the temporary committee of the Football Association included administrative penalties on the Altaliaa club, where it decided to stop the director of the team, Fadl a-Nayef, from accompanying his team or any other team for a whole year, with a proposal to dismiss him from the General Sports Federation.

The decision came in response to al-Nayef’s statement after the end of the Tishreen and Altaliaa match on 19 April, which the federation described as “offending sports leaders and football cadres that are far from credible.”

Al-Karama basketball club players - 20 April 2022 (Al-Karama sports club / Facebook)

Al-Karama basketball club players – 20 April 2022 (Al-Karama sports club / Facebook)

Basketball Association penalizes

In turn, the Syrian Basketball Association imposed fines on al-Karama and al-Fayhaa clubs on 21 April for various reasons within the men’s general league competitions.

The Basketball Association statement stipulated that the al-Fayhaa club was fined one million Syrian pounds and that it lost its match against the al-Jalaa club.

The Association also imposed a fine on the al-Karama club in the amount of 600,000 Syrian pounds (215 US dollars) for throwing water bottles at the stadium with its fans, which led to a ten-minute stoppage of play in the fourth round of its match with al-Wahda club on 19 April.

The sports system in Syria is witnessing much confusion in its various competitions.

In February, the head of the UAE and Arab Basketball Federations, Major General Ismail al-Gergawi, revealed the imposition of a fine on the Syrian basketball team for its withdrawal from the Arab Championship.

The fine was estimated at 10,000 US dollars, and the team is prohibited from participating in the upcoming tournaments until the fine is paid, according to what was reported by the newspaper Emirates Today.

The decision came due to the Syrian Federation’s announcement of the team’s withdrawal hours after the draw for the 24th Arab Championship, which was held at al-Nasr club hall in Dubai.

While the head of the Syrian Basketball Association, Tarif Qutrash, stated on 17 February, after the meeting of the General Assembly of the Arab Federation, that there are no sanctions against Syria because of its apology for participating in the Arab Championship.

The Syrian sports system is subject to widespread criticism and accusations of “corruption and nepotism” and wide criticism from the Syrian opposition, who consider sports cadres to be a tool in the hands of the Syrian regime.

(1 USD = 2,814 SYP due to Central Bank, but the pound is trading around 3,900 to the dollar in the black market).

The Syrian Basketball Association’s decision imposing fines on al-Karama and al-Fayhaa clubs - 21 April 2022 (Syrian Basketball Association’s Facebook page)

The Syrian Basketball Association’s decision imposing fines on al-Karama and al-Fayhaa clubs – 21 April 2022 (Syrian Basketball Association’s Facebook page)

 

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