Ethiopia fined for fan trouble at African Cup
By TRISTAN HOLME, Associated Press
NELSPRUIT, South Africa (AP) — The Confederation of African Football has fined Ethiopia’s football federation $10,000 after the team’s fans hurled vuvuzelas and other missiles onto the pitch during Monday’s 1-1 draw with Zambia at the African Cup of Nations.
CAF announced the fine late Tuesday, adding that half of the $10,000 penalty would be suspended on condition that Ethiopia’s fans are not found guilty of a similar offense during the rest of the tournament.
Ethiopia had plenty of supporters for its first African Cup match in 31 years, but the Group C game at Mbombela turned ugly when Gabonese referee Eric Otogo-Castane dismissed Ethiopia goalkeeper Jemal Tassew shortly after the half-hour mark.
Vuvuzelas and water bottles rained down from the stands, with coaches and substitutes forced to take shelter in their dugouts while a stadium announcer gradually restored calm.
Riot police were stationed around the playing area for the second half, but no arrests were made.
Ethiopian fans may also be barred from entering the stadium for Friday’s Group C clash with Burkina Faso unless CAF receives assurances from EFF that it can control its followers.
Another possibility is that supporters will not be allowed to bring vuvuzelas into the stadium.
Jemal was sent off whilst being stretchered off after a studs-up, waist-high challenge on Zambia’s Chisamba Lungu, and has been banned for the next two matches, meaning he will not feature in the tournament again unless Ethiopia progresses to the quarterfinal stage.
In another decision, Africa’s football body warned the local organizing committee and Congolese Football Federation after a Congo supporter invaded the pitch and ran almost the entire width of the field in Port Elizabeth during his team’s 2-2 draw with Ghana on Sunday.
CAF said it had sent a warning letter to the LOC advising it to “reinforce” security at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
“The Board also decided to address a warning letter to Congo as the visiting team is held responsible for the behavior of their supporters,” CAF said.