Egypt’s Zamalek fined, to play in empty stadium
Egyptian club Zamalek was fined $80,000 and ordered to play its
next two home games in an empty stadium following a violent pitch
invasion by fans in an African Champions League game in Cairo
earlier this month.
Zamalek was one of nine African clubs sanctioned in decisions
announced by the Confederation of African Football on Wednesday
following a meeting of its disciplinary body a day earlier in
Senegal’s national federation was also fined $5,000 for a pitch
invasion in an African Cup of Nations qualifier against Cameroon in
Dakar last month.
CAF said in a statement that Zamalek was guilty of violating
four articles of the disciplinary code when its supporters rushed
onto the field at Cairo International Stadium on April 2 and tried
to attack the visiting Club Africain players and referee.
The African football body ruled Zamalek should play its next
four home games in CAF competitions without supporters, but
suspended two of them unless the club commits a similar offense in
the next two years.
Zamalek, a five-time African champion, was ruled by CAF to be
culpable for the match being interrupted by the pitch invasion from
fans and for their use of flares and aggression toward match
officials and the away team.
”The club may also be suspended from participating in CAF
competitions for a duration of one year if similar offenses
occur,” CAF said.
The invasion by Zamalek fans caused the referee to abandon the
match, with Club Africain awarded the tie 5-3 on aggregate.
Stick-wielding fans clashed with police and supporters damaged
the goal posts, leading the Egyptian Football Association to
reconsider the return of the domestic football league after it was
suspended during the revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak.
In other punishments, Club Africain was fined $10,000 after its
fans entered the field of play in the first leg of the last-32 tie
Nigeria’s Enyimba was fined $20,000 and issued with a final
warning for inadequate security at its stadium in the southern city
of Aba for the African Champions League game against Union Sportive
Bitam of Gabon.
Home supporters were allowed to enter the field of play and
”harass” Bitam officials, CAF said, who threatened Enyimba with
”severe sanctions in case of any future incident.”
Algeria’s MC Alger, Mozambique’s Desportivo Maxaquene, ASV of
Congo and Kano Pillars of Nigeria were fined $5,000 for fan
offenses. Angola’s AS Aviacao and Zimbabwean club Dynamos were
ordered to pay $5,000 for violent conduct by players.
Political unrest in Ivory Coast and Libya also disrupted the
continent’s football calendar, with three clubs withdrawing from
Champions League ties involving Ivorian or Libyan teams were
reduced to one-off games because the violence-plagued countries
cannot host matches.