African Champions League marred by violence and fan death in Casablanca and Tunis

May 2 – Crowd violence and the death of a supporter marred the quarter-finals of the African Champions League this weekend. 

A 29-year-old woman died in a crush at the gates of the Stade Mohammed V in Morocco before Raja Casablanca’s match against Al-Ahly on Saturday as thousands of fans stormed to the gound to try and enter. The hosts had lost the first leg 2-0.

“Aziz El Badrawy, President of Al-Raja Club Athletic, in his name and on behalf of all members of the club, extends his deepest condolences to the family of the fan, Noura, who passed away before our team’s match against Al-Ahly,” the Moroccan club said in a statement.

Crowd violence also erupted at the quarter-final between Tunisia’s Esperance and Algeria’s JS Kabylie in the Tunisian capital. Clashes between fans and security forces caused a 40-minute delay to the second half. On social media, disturbing footage emerged of a man carrying a chainsaw.

Esperance won the tie 2-1 on aggregate to set up a semi-final with Al Ahly. In the other semi-final South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, the club owned by the family of CAF president Motsepe, will face defending champions Wydad Casablanca.

In a statement, CAF general secretary Veron Mosengo-Omba said the governing body will investigate the violence. “The scenes in Tunis and Casablanca were unacceptable and we cannot tolerate this in football,” said Mosengo-Omba.

“We condemn unruly actions by some supporters in the strongest terms. CAF will hand over the matter to our judicial structures for further investigation.”

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