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Asian Cup organizers investigate shoe-throwing

/ 11:53 AM January 31, 2019

Qatar’s defender Salem Al Hajri, right bottom, lies on the pitch after shoes and bottles where thrown in by United Arab Emirates fans during the AFC Asian Cup semifinal soccer match between United Arab Emirates and Qatar at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates— Asian Cup organizers have opened an investigation after soccer fans threw shoes and bottles at Qatar’s players during their semifinal victory over the United Arab Emirates.

The stadium in Abu Dhabi was packed with home fans. The UAE has cut economic, diplomatic and travel ties with Qatar, making it difficult for fans of the team to travel to the tournament.

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Qatar, which will host the 2022 World Cup, was booed before Tuesday’s game. The second goal in the 4-0 victory prompted UAE fans to start throwing their shoes at the Qatar players, an act which is considered to be an insult.

The Asian Football Confederation says it is “conducting a thorough investigation into events” at the game and “once that investigation has been completed the AFC will decide on the appropriate next steps.”

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Qatar will play Japan in the final on Friday in Abu Dhabi.

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TAGS: 2022 World Cup, Abu Dhabi, Asian Cup, Football, United Arab Emirates
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