AFCON Organizers Demote Referee, Fine Tunisia $50,000

Posted February 4th, 2015 at 4:48 pm (UTC-4)
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BATA, Equatorial Guinea _ Tunisians players upset at a disputed penalty during their quarterfinal loss to Equatorial Guinea badly damaged a locker room at a stadium, Africa Cup tournament organizers said, as they fined the Tunisian football federation $50,000.

Referee Rajindraparsad Seechurn is surrounded by security as players of Tunisia confront him after losing their quarter-final soccer match of the 2015 African Cup of Nations against Equatorial Guinea in Bata. (REUTERS)

In a statement issued late Tuesday, the Confederation of African Football also said they had demoted the referee at the center of the furiously disputed match on Saturday, which advanced Equatorial Guinea to the semifinals.

During the match, Mauritian referee Rajindraparsad Seechurn awarded a late penalty to Equatorial Guinea that tied the score against Tunisia. Javier Balboa then sealed victory for the home team in the 102nd minute.

At the final minute, as local fans erupted in celebrations, ugly scenes erupted on the pitch, as Tunisian players accosted tournament officials, and then tried to attack the referee.

The confederation said it was fining Tunisia $50,000 for “insolent, aggressive and unacceptable behavior” of the players and officials during Saturday’s game.

The confederation also said it was suspending Seechurn for six months for “poor performance” and removed from confederation’s “A” list of referees.

The confederation’s referee committee expressed regret for the “the poor performance of the referee during the match, including an unacceptable failure to maintain calm and ensure proper control of the players during the match.”

Seechurn could not be located to comment on the penalty. The Tunisian Football Federation did not make an immediate comment on the announcement.

The end of the quarterfinal match saw the ugliest scenes to date at the 2015 tournament, which for the most part has been conducted without major incident.

Tournament organizers also fined Equatorial Guinea $5,000, for not doing more to prevent fans from running into the pitch, like what happened during Saturday’s match.


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