OKS points at UAE as brawl instigators

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Akhyar Rashid, Malaysia U23
Ong Kim Swee did not mince his words as he lays the blame for last night's brawl on the United Arab Emirates U23 players.

A 2-0 win over UAE was supposed to bring about a celebratory mood but just the opposite happened after unwanted aggression led to a free-for-all towards the end of the match that led to the match officials calling the match to an end earlier than they would have wanted.

As the match went into added time in the second half, UAE's Mohammad Khalfan inexplicably launched a high kick on Adib Zainuddin and that sparked the brawl that ensued. Both sets of players got involved and matters spilled out onto the technical area as well.

The 90 seconds that followed was action-packed with both camps either losing their heads or trying to stop the matter from escalating. An UAE official was also caught on camera taking a chair in full wrestling style and tried slamming it on Malaysian players.

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The fallout from it saw a Malaysian official with red marks on his back after he rushed in to stop the particular UAE official. Another Malaysian official also suffered heavy bruise to his right eye after he was hit when trying to restrain the situation.

Ong was less than impressed with what had happened and blame it on pride that led to the match becoming increasingly hostile over the course of the 90 minutes The Malaysia U23 head coach is adamant that it all stemmed from the opposition and that his boys had to react to what happened.

"When you play against the Middle East countries, they are used to beat us. But when we are on top of them, this is what normally happen. But at the end of the day, the boys have to learn. When we are leading 2-0, we don't want this to happen." 

"In a real game situation, it's definitely not going to help us. Where probably action will be taken. So we must understand the situation where we can't afford to have this kind of situation to happen that can kill our hopes to go further.

"You can see that the incident all start from the opponent (UAE). We have to defend ourselves and our officials have to defend our players. Somethings that we need to do to protect whoever we can. We didn't provoke anything. If we do provoke, yes I can accuse my players," said Ong after the match.

Ong also went on to reveal that none of the players are seriously hurt immediately after the incident but further checks and inspection will be done to ensure that remains the case.

Football Association of Malaysia have already submitted a full report to Asian Football Confederation after overnight discussions were held with UAE Football Association. The governing body of Asia will now have to decide just what kind of punishment that will be handed out to Malaysia and UAE.