February 11 – African football faces fresh accusations of politically-motivated bias after Egyptian club Ismaily SC were re-instated into this year’s African Champions League after a successful appeal against their expulsion.
The club were originally thrown out after fans forced the abandonment of the home fixture against Club Africain by throwing stones and water bottles at match officials at the Tunisian club’s players, forcing the referee Neant Alioum to take both teams off the pitch in stoppage time. The visitors were leading 2-1 at the time.
The Confederation of African Football’s appeals board argued at the weekend there had been no invasion of the playing area or evidence that there had been “aggression against the visiting team.” Therefore, it said, there were no grounds for disqualification.
To add insult to injury the appeals board made no alternative recommendation for sanction.
CAF’s headquarters are based in Cairo and of course Egpyt are hosts of this summer’s Africans Nations Cup, all the more reason to set a good example. Instead it would appear Ismaily have been given a free pass on this one.
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