Fifa probe Ivory Coast, Sene­gal crowd trou­ble

New Straits Times - - Sport -

GENEVA: Fifa said on Tues­day they had launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into in­ci­dents which led to the aban­don­ment of a friendly match be­tween Ivory Coast and Sene­gal in Paris fol­low­ing a se­ries of pitch in­va­sions.

The sides were level at 1-1 on Mon­day when French ref­eree Tony Chapron called off the match in the 88th minute as fans from both sides flooded onto the pitch.

Images showed rowdy sup­port­ers chas­ing across the pitch af­ter climb­ing over fences while one fan was seen tack­ling a player in the mid­dle of the pitch.

“We are cur­rently analysing and gath­er­ing in­for­ma­tion con­cern­ing the in­ci­dents,” a Fifa spokesman said.

He added that “should it be con­sid­ered ap­pro­pri­ate, dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ings may be opened.”

The match’s or­gan­is­ers said that prob­lems started aris­ing when some sup­port­ers made their way from the stand be­hind the sub­sti­tutes bench to the op­po­site tri­bune, which was orig­i­nally meant to be left empty.

The first pitch in­va­sion, by just around a dozen sup­port­ers, hap­pened as the two teams re­turned from the chang­ing rooms af­ter half-time.

Se­cu­rity at the sta­dium was un­able to cope, even less so with fur­ther in­ci­dents of fans spilling onto the pitch.

Sa­dio Mane had given Sene­gal the lead on 67 min­utes from the penalty spot but Ful­ham’s Cyr­iac Gohi Bi equalised for the Ivo­rians just four min­utes later.

But af­ter the lat­est in a se­ries of pitch in­va­sions, Chapron had had enough and the game was brought to a pre­ma­ture end.

The game came just three days af­ter Ivory Coast won 2-0 in Rus­sia.

In the Charlety sta­dium in the south of Paris, the Ele­phants were watched by for­mer Bel­gium coach Marc Wil­mots, who will as­sume his coach­ing du­ties with Ivory Coast on Satur­day.

African World Cup qual­i­fy­ing re­sumes in Au­gust with Ivory Coast two points clear of Morocco and Gabon at the top of Group C with four points af­ter two games and Sene­gal a point be­hind Burk­ina Faso and South Africa in Group D. AFP

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