Sunday 22 October 2017

Rioting brings shame to African Cup of Nations clash

Security officers evacuate a supporter who made his way onto the pitch during the African Cup of Nations semi-final between Equatorial Guinea and Ghana. Photo: AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGOISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images
Security officers evacuate a supporter who made his way onto the pitch during the African Cup of Nations semi-final between Equatorial Guinea and Ghana. Photo: AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGOISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images

A day that should have been full of positive messages about African football, as Ghana and Ivory Coast prepared for a potentially thrilling African Cup of Nations final tomorrow, was instead marked by the negativity of disciplinary actions against the actual and intended hosts.

Morocco, who withdrew from hosting Afcon 2015 because of the Ebola outbreak, were banned from the next two tournaments. The Confederation of African Nations (CAF) also fined them £650,000. CAF was more lenient towards Equatorial Guinea, whose offer to host the event was marred by rioting during Thursday's semi-final.

The game took a disturbing course after Ghana went two up. Their players were forced to shelter under police riot shields to reach the half-time dressing rooms. CAF fined Equatorial Guinea £65,000, and ordered them to pay compensation to injured Ghanaian fans.

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