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Burma loses to Vietnam after fans go wild

File photo of Burmese fans (Photo: Myanmar Football Federation)

The Myanmar Football Federation (MFF) is facing disciplinary action over the unruly behaviour of Burmese fans at a semi-final match against Vietnam on Tuesday during the 2016 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Women’s Championship in Mandalay.

The Burmese fans reacted furiously when South Korean referee Oh Hyeon-jeong decided to award Vietnam a penalty shot near the end of the match, when Burma was leading 3-2. The Burmese team’s supporters threw projectiles, including chairs and bottles, onto the pitch, bringing the game to a halt for 30 minutes.

The match resumed after the fans cooled down following repeated appeals from MFF officials, with Vietnam scoring a last-minute penalty kick that sent the game into 30 minutes overtime. A penalty shootout secured Vietnam’s victory and will see it advance to the championship match against Thailand on Friday.

After losing the semi-final, Burma will now face Australia’s Under-20 team for third place on 4 August.

This is not the first time that the MMF has run into trouble because of out-of-control fans. In October 2014, the federation was fined by the Asian Football Confederation’s Disciplinary Committee over incidents at two matches at Rangoon’s Thuwanna Stadium.

When Iran beat Burma 2-0 on 13 October 2014, some fans ripped up seats and threw them onto the pitch. A few days later, after Burma won 1-0 against the United Arab Emirates, hundreds of local supporters invaded the park in celebration.

Other incidents have had more tragic consequences. At a local match in Taungoo last month, a player was killed by members of an opposing team during an on-pitch brawl.