Baghdad football match turns into gunfight, leaving two dead

Baghdad football match turns into gunfight, leaving two dead
A Baghdad football match has led to inter-clan conflict and two deaths after a dispute over a goal.
2 min read
19 April, 2021
The streets of Baghdad faced serious clan violence on Sunday [AFP/Getty]

A football match in the Sadr City suburb of Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, turned deadly on Sunday night after a gunfight broke out, The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister site reported.

Two people died, including one child, and three others were injured.

Eyewitnesses told The New Arab’s sister site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that the dispute arose during the grassroots match because of an argument over a goal.

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This then escalated from a fist fight to an armed battle after players enlisted the support of relatives.

A man and a girl were killed in a nearby house and three members of the teams were injured to varying extents.

The police intervened to end the chaos which became a dispute between the clans of those killed and injured and the clans of those who opened fire.

A local officer confirmed the police had arrested several people who were armed during the match, detaining them pending investigation.

He explained that there remain confused threats of vengeance, leading the police to employ mediation efforts to ensure no more armed violence occurs.

A researcher in social affairs, Adnan Al-Faraji, said grassroots football has caused lots of inter-clan strife in Baghdad, and called on the government to take action.

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