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

Johannesburg.

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

in Tunisia.

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

African competitions.

Champions League ties involving Ivorian or Libyan teams were

reduced to one-off games because the violence-plagued countries

cannot host matches.