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African Nations qualifier abandoned

Violence erupts at Stade Leopold Senghor in Dakar.
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The African Nations Cup qualifier between Senegal and Ivory Coast in Dakar was abandoned following crowd trouble.

Ivory Coast were leading 2-0 on the night and 6-2 on aggregate - a result which seems likely to stand, sending Senegal out - when the match was stopped in the 72nd minute at the Stade Leopold Senghor.

The incident was confirmed on the official website of the Senegalese Football Federation: "Unfortunately the match ended in very sombre circumstances.

"The referee was forced to stop in the match in the 72nd minute with the score at 2-0 because of serious outbreaks in the stands by very unhappy Senegalese supporters.

"The police took the public out after many confrontations."

Play had been temporarily halted in the 65th minute when a person ran on to the pitch and almost reached Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba before being wrestled to the ground and escorted off the field.

Drogba had given his side the lead in the 51st minute with a free-kick and the former Chelsea man then made it 2-0 from the penalty spot in the 70th minute.

DESTINATION UNKNOWN

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Following that second goal there were disturbances in the stands, with small fires being set alight and objects thrown as players and staff from both teams grouped together in the centre circle.

A host of Premier League players were involved in the match, including Newcastle pair Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse lining up for Senegal, along with West Ham's Mohamed Diame.

In Ivory Coast's starting line-up were Arsenal striker Gervinho, Manchester City brothers Yaya and Kolo Toure, and Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote.

City said on their official website: "City's Yaya and Kolo Toure are both safe after crowd trouble halted play as Senegal hosted the Ivory Coast in Dakar.

"Disturbances broke out as Didier Drogba put the Elephants 2-0 up, after what was deemed a controversial penalty decision in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

"Fires were started in the stands at Stade Leopold Senghor and missiles were launched on to the pitch before the players were escorted to safety.

"Yaya and Kolo were both involved in the second leg clash and early reports suggest the brothers are unharmed."

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