The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has fined 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) hosts Equatorial Guinea a further sum of £65,000 (US$100,000) and will “automatically” play 1 match behind closed doors in the case of a repeat of crowd violence that overshadowed their semi-final defeat by Ghana.
Play was suspended for more than half an hour because of crowd trouble which began soon after Ghana cruised 3-0 ahead of Equatorial Guinea in Malabo. Players ducked bottles thrown from the stands while Ghana supporters sought safety behind a goal. Riot police used tear gas and helicopter hovered over the stadium.
Caf said in its statement: “At least 36 people injured were identified by the medical teams present at the stadium following the incidents that marred the game. All the injured were supported and attended to on site. A total of 14 were transferred to hospital units for further investigations with one case requiring close monitoring.”
Following a meeting of Caf’s disciplinary committee on Friday, the Equatoguineans have also been told to foot the bill for treatment for “all injured persons during the match,” but “to promote the spirit of fair play and brotherhood during the tournament” fans will be allowed for the third-place match between Equatorial Guinea and DR Congo on Saturday.
Nonetheless, in the event of a third incident of crowd disturbance during the classification game, “the disciplinary panel of CAF will automatically impose the sanction of playing behind closed doors (on) the Equatorial Guinean team’s next official match.”
— Piers Edwards (@piers_e) February 5, 2015
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 after last Sunday’s controversial victory over Tunisiain the quarter-finals.
The Nzalang Nacional were looking to progress to the semi-finals of the showpiece for the first time only in their second attempt; however, fans took law and order into their own hands and shifted attention from what had been an entertaining tournament prior to Match No. 30.
The Black Stars had taken a 2-0 lead into the interval, courtesy of Jordan Ayew’s spot kick after Kwesi Appiah had been fouled by goalkeeper Felipe Ovono.
Mubarak Wakasso doubled their lead in first half injury time, when he drilled home after a counter-attack- the 1500th goal in the history of the Afcon.
A tunnel made of riot shields was used to dispatch Ghana players off the pitch at half-time, at whose point angry fans had began throwing bottles to the pitch.
The real trouble began after Andre Ayew had tapped in Ghana’s third on 75 minutes and with only eight minutes left.
Equatorial Guinea only stepped in as replacement hosts in November after Morocco had called for postponement of the tournament over fears of the Ebola outbreak in some part of the continent. There were much concerns about preparation and security before the start of the 30th edition of Africa’s biggest football competition.
The police eventually restored order at the deserted Estadio de Malabo and, once the pitch was cleared of objects, play resumed and lasted for just three minutes.
Ghana will face Cote d’Ivoire, winner of the other semi-final against DR Congo, in Sunday’s final.