Hosts Equatorial Guinea Fined for Semifinal Match Violence

Posted February 6th, 2015 at 4:48 pm (UTC-4)
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Equatorial Guinea fans react as a police helicopter hovers above the stand during the African Cup semi-final match against Ghana in Malabo. (REUTERS)

Africa Cup organizers hit hosts Equatorial Guinea with a $100,000 fine Friday for not doing more to control the fan violence that erupted during Ghana’s semifinal trouncing of Equatorial Guinea.

With Ghana leading 2-0 at the half during the match Thursday, home field fans began to get unruly, pelting Ghanian players with bottles and other debris as they left the pitch at halftime.

After Andre Ayew nailed home the Black Stars third goal at the 76th minute, Equatorial Guinea fans began accosting Ghanian fans in the stands, forcing them to take refuge in the section behind one of the goals. The game was delayed for about 30 minutes.

At least 36 people were injured in the fighting, and 14 were hospitalized, one seriously, tournament organizers said. It was the worst violence of the 2015 tournament.

On Friday, the disciplinary committee of the Confederation of African Football announced the $100,000 fine ” for aggressive behavior and being repeat offenders.”

The panel also ordered Equatorial Guinea to play its next match behind closed doors, which would have meant no spectators for the third place tournament match, scheduled for Saturday. But the panel said it would suspend that order “to promote a spirit of fair play and brotherhood.”

Equatorial Guinea had already been once before during the tournament for not controlling unruly fans, during the Jan. 26 match against Gabon.

 

Mike Eckel
Mike Eckel's dreams of being drafted by Man United or FC Barcelona peaked when he was captain of his high school football team, but ended during his short-lived college career. He continues to be an avid player (midfield) however and holds out hope that Jozy Altidore will get his act together for 2018. When not running VOA's football blogs, he writes about Russia, international war crimes, Central Asia corruption and oversees VOA's multimedia collaboration efforts.

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