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CAF lays hammer down following AFCON quarterfinal fiasco
African football’s governing body (CAF) has acted swiftly in disciplining parties involved in last Saturday’s controversial African Cup of Nations (AFCON) quarterfinal between Tunisia and hosts Equatorial Guinea.
Mauritian match referee Seechurn Rajindrapasard was relieved of any further AFCON duty and suspended for six months. He was also removed from CAF’s “A” Elite Referees panel, likely jeopardizing any prospects of being a lead match official for some time.
CAF cited several decisions by Rajindrapasard as reason for his suspension, most notably “poor performance.” Though it wasn’t specifically mentioned in the statement, Rajindrapasard’s biggest gaffe was a penalty-kick he errantly awarded Equatorial Guinea in second-half injury time, helping lead to their comeback win.
The Tunisian Football Federation (FTF) was also penalized, mainly for its delegation’s reaction to Rajindrapasard’s performance.
According to CAF, Tunisian players and “some supporters” invaded the pitch, insulting Rajindrapasard and trying to physically assault him.
The statement also said Tunisian players vandalized the locker room, including breaking a door and a fridge.
CAF is asking the FTF to pay for the damages in addition to a $50,000 fine.
Tunisia is also being ordered to write a formal apology for a letter it sent to CAF following the match suggesting the organization was deliberately biased against them. If the letter is not sent by February 5, CAF says Tunisia faces further disciplinary action, including possible suspension from the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
CAF also fined the Equatoguinean Football Federation $5,000 for its fans’ pitch invasion following the match.