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‘Malicious propaganda’ – Pakistan call for investigation into World Cup fan unrest

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

A press release on Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website has called for an investigation into the supporter clashes that occurred between Afghanistan and Pakistan fans outside Headingley, videos of which surfaced on social media.

The Foreign Office statement condemns the flying of a banner being towed by an aeroplane over the stadium’s airspace, which is believed to have read “Justice for Balochistan” and may have contributed to or triggered the ensuing tensions and violence. Another banner read “Help end disappearances in Pakistan”.

Pakistan eventually went on to clinch the thrilling encounter in the final over, leading to further scuffles and pitch invasions, as was also the case during the conclusion of the England versus Afghanistan fixture at Old Trafford.

Supporters also invaded the pitch upon conclusion of the game

According to a report in The Times, the governing body appears to have had their wish granted, with the ICC and West Yorkshire Police launching a joint investigation into the events in the crowd, whilst the airspace was originally deemed safe from political message due to the nearby Leeds-Bradford Airport.

The statement released by the Pakistan’s government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs outlined: “The flying of anti-Pakistan banners, unruly conduct of certain group of spectators toward Pakistan team players, and scuffles during the Pakistan-Afghanistan World Cup cricket match are a matter of deep concern.

“Use of sports venues for such malicious propaganda is unacceptable. We expect all relevant authorities, both sports and law enforcement, to thoroughly investigate the matter and bring those responsible to account. The matter is also being taken up through diplomatic channels.”

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