Dozens injured during Oman’s Gulf Cup win celebrations

About 40 fans of Oman suffer injuries after a barrier collapses while celebrating their team’s Gulf Cup win.

Dozens of football fans have sustained minor injuries when a barrier collapsed at the Gulf Cup final in Kuwait, moments after Oman beat the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.  

The jubilant Omani fans were celebrating their team’s victory on Friday when the glass barrier broke, sending some supporters pitch side.

According to a statement posted on the Kuwait Football Association, about 40 people got injured during the incident at the Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad Stadium in Kuwait City. However, they were “all OK”, according to Kuwait Minister of State for Youth Affairs Khaled al-Roudhan.

Some of those injured were taken to hospital for treatment, where they were visited by Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah visiting the patients in the hospital. Authorities said they had launched an investigation into the incident.

The Gulf Cup is a bi-annual tournament for eight nations in the region.

The 23rd edition’s final between Oman and the UAE finished in a 0-0 draw after extra time. Minutes before the end of regular time, the UAE was awarded a penalty kick but Omani goalkeeper Faiz Al-Rushaidi managed to save the penalty.

After both teams failed to score during the extra time, Oman won the penalty shoot-out five to four.

This was the country’s second title, sending Oman’s team and their fans into jubilation.

“Thank God, we finally made it,” al-Rushaidi, the goalkeeper, said after the win.

“I want to thank all our fans who came here to support us and we just couldn’t send them home empty-handed.”

Midfielder Mohsen Johar dedicated the victory to the sultan of Oman and also the fans who had traveled to Kuwait to support the team.

“They deserve this victory,” he said.

This year’s Gulf Cup was overshadowed by the Gulf Cooperation Council crisis, which broke out in June 2017. The diplomatic blockade of Qatar by Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as well as Egypt, has led to deteriorating relations between the Gulf countries.

Oman and Kuwait have tried mediating between Qatar and the blockading countries, but no breakthrough has been achieved.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies