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Friday, September 30, 2005

Pakistan's first women's football championship ends in brawl

ISLAMABAD (AFP) - The match was hailed as a victory in the fight for equality -- but it was the players themselves who ended up fighting in the final of Pakistan's first women's football championship.

The game on Thursday between Punjab province and WAPDA (Water and Power Development Authority) descended into an ugly brawl after a solitary goal from a spot-kick won the trophy for the Punjab team.

"WAPDA goalie Azra Matloob stopped the penalty kick and Sheka Nazeer scored off the rebound, but since Azra got injured the WAPDA players were furious," said a Pakistan Football Federation spokesman.

Pictures of the resulting free-for-all -- showing women from the two teams clawing at each others' Islamically-correct outfits of trousers and long-sleeved shirts -- were splashed all over local newspapers.

Again showing that punch-ups are not restricted to the men's game, the players nearly came to blows again at the prize ceremony when they exchanged some hot words.

The football federation played down the incident as a "football flare-up"

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