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Africa Cup of Nations match abandoned after fans riot

As Senegal trailed 2-0 at home to the Ivory coast, fans in the Dakar stadium turned to violence.

Kolo Toure (4) is among a group of Ivory coast players protected by riot police.
Kolo Toure (4) is among a group of Ivory coast players protected by riot police.
Image: Rebecca Blackwell/AP/Press Association Images

THE AFRICA CUP of Nations qualifier between Senegal and Ivory Coast was abandoned Saturday after home fans went on a violent rampage as their team slipped towards a humiliating defeat.

Fires were set in the stands while stones, chairs and bottles were thrown at the players, an AFP journalist witnessed, after Ivory Coast went 2-0 ahead, 15 minutes from the end of the second leg of the tie.

“After 40 minutes suspension, the decision was taken to abandon the match,” an official at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor told reporters.

Violence erupted when Ivory Coast skipper Didier Drogba, the former Chelsea star, had scored his second goal from the penalty spot.

That made the score 2-0 on the night and 6-2 on aggregate for Ivory Coast, putting them comfortably into the 2013 finals to be staged in South Africa and eliminating Senegal.

As the missiles, which also included tin cans and water bombs, rained down on the pitch, and the players cowered in the centre-circle, security forces used tear gas to quell the trouble.

Both teams were then escorted to the safety of the dressing rooms before the stadium was evacuated.

Police also moved around 300 Ivory Coast fans from the stands into the middle of their pitch for their protection.

Senegal sports minister El Hadji Malick Gakou said around 10 people suffered minor injuries including himself after he was hit by a stone.

Rebecca Blackwell/AP/Press Association Images

“The match was halted and the Lions of Senegal will not qualify for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations,” said the APS, Senegal’s official news agency.

“Senegal will now incur a sanction from the Confederation of African Football (CAF).”

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Drogba had opened the scoring for the visitors in the 51st minute with a free-kick.

Meanwhile, English Premier League champions Manchester City said that brothers Yaya and Kolo Toure, who were playing for the Ivory Coast, appeared to escape the trouble unhurt.

“Yaya and Kolo were both involved in the second leg clash and early reports suggest the brothers are unharmed,” said a statement on the club’s official website.

- © AFP, 2012

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