MANILA, Philippines – Scuffle broke out among football fans who lined up to buy tickets for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup semifinals match between the Philippine Azkals and host Maldives, reports said.
According to Haveeru.com, the local Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) also launched a probe on alleged irregularities in the ticket sales conducted by the Football Association of Maldives (FAM), the local football association recognized by the AFC.
Angry fans, most who lined up since early morning, gathered outside the Maldives FA headquarters in the capital Male and demanded the resignation of the FAM president Ilham Ahmed.
The ACC wanted to investigate the cause of the melee that led to the temporary suspension of ticket sales last Sunday.
The AFC, however, warned the Maldives authorities from investigating the ongoing the AFC Challenge Cup. Doing so, said the confederation, may result in Maldives being suspended from international competition.
"The jurisdiction to investigate any misconduct remains exclusively with the AFC and FIFA," the confederation said in a statement on Tuesday.
"If any domestic investigative authority attempts to intervene in the affairs of AFC or in any tournament conducted by AFC in partnership with FAM as a member of AFC and FIFA is at risk of being penalised for such intervention, including suspension from international events and tournaments.
"AFC wishes to convey to the domestic investigative authorities that the Football Association of Maldives is audited by AFC on a regular basis, and remains in good standing.
"AFC also believes that conduct of FAM in the current tournament is transparent, and in accordance with the established rules of the AFC." - With a report from Reuters