The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has sanctioned Mauritanian referee Seechurn Rajindrapasard following his “poor performance” during an Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) quarter-final match between hosts Equatorial Guinea and Tunisia on January 31, 2015.
Equatorial Guinea progressed to the last 4 of the tournament having been awarded a controversial stoppage-time penalty to force extra time, going on to claim a 2-1 win in Bata.
The incident triggered pitch invasion by the ‘Carthage Eagles’s’ substitutes, who insulted and tried to engage the referee physically after final whistle as well as few cases of locker room vandalism.
President of the Tunisian Football Federation (FTF), Mr Wadie Jary, criticized Caf and the match official publically. FTF in a couple of subsequent correspondence to the Caf “insinuated” the continental body and its officials were responsible for their elimination as a result of “questionable and biased” officiating.
The football federation of Tunisia has, as part of Caf’s decision at a meeting in Bata on Tuesday, been fined US$50, 000 (£33,000).
Caf has also asked for estimates for repairing damages at the Bata stadium and handed Tunisia a Thursday, 5 February ultimatum to tender apology for accusations of “bias and lack of ethics”
The statement continued: “Should the Federation not send this letter of apology or required evidence before the stated deadline, the disciplinary panel would suggest to the Executive Committee of CAF additional sanctions, including the possibility not to accept the participation of the national team of Tunisia in the next edition of Cup of Nations, AFCON, 2017.”
Tunisia football boss Wadie resigned from Caf in protest after his country’s elimination.
Referee Seechurn awarded the penalty after Ali Maaloul was harshly ruled to have fouled Ivan Bolado when Tunisia were leading 1-0 through Ahmed Akaichi’s opener. The Equatoguinean drew level courtesy of Javier Balboa’s spot kick and then sealed victory in extra time, when the Estoril Praia winger curled home a wonderful free-kick from 25 yards.
Caf “regrets” Seechurn’s decision; has “delisted him from the CAF “A” Elite Referees panel and suspended him for a period of six (6) months.”
Equatorial Guinea were fined US$5,000 (£3,300) for poor security at the stadium, following incidents of pitch invasion by fans and “aggressive” conducts by some supporters.