I’ve uploaded onto Youtube.com video of the last 5:20 of the controversial group play match between Kuwait and Iran. With 6 minutes remaining Kuwait led Iran 31-25. Iran, however, outscored Kuwait 10-3 to eke out a 1 goal victory. This victory resulted in a three way tie for first place between Iran, Kuwait and Bahrain. The one goal victory for Iran was the only possible outcome that would result in Kuwait finishing first in the group and Iran finishing second. Bahrain protested the result and claims that Kuwait purposely lost the match as payback for Bahrain speaking out earlier against the Asian Handball Federation on the Olympic Handball Qualification controversy.
My personal opinion is that some members of the Kuwaiti team, in particular their goalie, did not play their hardest on defense and made it very easy for Iran to score quickly and often. Proving this, however, is not possible. It can always be claimed that the players are simply having a bad day.
This is not the first time that goal differential manipulations have appeared to occur in a competition. Both Handball and Soccer have many examples where it might have occurred. It’s also a safe bet it won’t be the last. What teams should remember when they decide to play this card is that “what goes around, comes around.”
Youtube video (with commentary): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7c2wG9HA7_Y