In the AFC Champions League quarterfinal matchup on Wednesday between Iranian Champions – Sepahan and runners up of the Saudi Arabian league – Al Ahli, an incident on the pitch at Foolad Shahr Stadium in Esfahan, Iran attested to the rivalry between the two countries.
The referee officiating the game (from Hong Kong) ran towards his assistant to inspect fragments thrown at him after the ball went out of play. At the same time, few of the Sepahan players came over to clean up the mess that was thrown on to the field.
Little did midfielder Adel Kolahkaj know that he was putting himself in harm’s way! As he casually picked up a black object and tossed it away from the pitch, it exploded, starting up a small fire and causing the referee to run towards the fourth official to discuss the matter. Fortunately, no one was injured.
Remembering Chapter 5 verse 19 of Confucius’s sayings in the Analects where it articulates:
Chi Wan thought three times before taking action. When the Master (Confucius) was informed of it, he said, “Twice will do.”
This incident will surely make Kolahkaj think twice before attempting to do something similar in the future. The game eventually carried on and ended in a goalless draw.
Watch the video below to see what happened: