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Sat 30 Jul 2011 12:14 PM

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Oman advances after FIFA's crowd violence ruling

Gulf state wins through to next stage of Asian World Cup qualifying following abandoned match

Oman advances after FIFA's crowd violence ruling
Oman football team

Oman have advanced to the next stage of the Asian World Cup qualifying campaign after FIFA awarded them victory over Myanmar in a match abandoned in the 92nd minute because of crowd violence.

Oman were leading the preliminary round game 2-0 in the Myanmar capital Yangon on Thursday and were 4-0 ahead on aggregate when Japanese referee Ryuji Sato halted the match two minutes into stoppage time after fans hurled rocks and glass bottles at him, the visiting coach Paul Le Guen and the Oman players.

FIFA said in a statement on Friday: "The Bureau of the Organising Committee of the FIFA World Cup has confirmed that the result standing at the time of the interruption of the match (2-0 for Oman) is final.

"Therefore, Oman is qualified for the next round of Asia's preliminary competition."

The matter will also be referred to the Disciplinary Committee, the statement added.

Despite a heavy police presence, Myanmar fans turned unruly when Sato awarded a penalty to Oman with the home side trailing 1-0 and staring at early elimination from Asian qualifying for the 2014 finals in Brazil.

Oman's Ismail al Ajmi converted the spot kick to put his side 2-0 ahead after 39 minutes, sparking anger among the crowd at the Thuwunna Stadium and prompting players to flee for cover in the dressing room.

After returning to play out the rest of the match, the game was eventually abandoned when the fans started throwing missiles on to the pitch.

Frenchman Le Guen coached Cameroon at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and has previously worked at Paris St Germain, Olympique Lyon and Glasgow Rangers.

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