By Andrew WarshawOctober 14 - A crucial Africa Cup of Nations showdown between arch-rivals Senegal and Ivory Coast was dramatically abandoned on Saturday (October 13) after home fans rioted in the stadium.
Category: African Nations Cup
Published on Sunday, 14 October 2012 10:19
Supporters started fires in the stands and hurled objects on the pitch as Senegal, World Cup quarterfinalists in 2002, were losing 2-0 – a result that would have eliminated them from the competition on a 6-2 aggregate.
Local reports said around 10 people – including Senegalese Sports Minister Hadji Malick Gakou – were injured in the violence at the Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor stadium in Dakar.
The trouble flared after former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba (pictured below, right) netted from the penalty spot for his second goal of the game with 15 minutes left to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.
Dozens of fans were reportedly forced to run on to the pitch to escape the violence and clashes continued on the streets outside the stadium.
Neither the Confederation of African Football (CAF) nor FIFA made any immediate comment.
But it seems almost certain that Senegal, who have never won their regional tournament despite being one of the biggest names in African football, will face serious sanctions.
The nature of African football is notoriously volatile and the trouble in Dakar has overshadowed qualification for Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Tunisia and holders Zambia who are all through to the African Cup of Nations finals in South Africa in January.
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