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Published: Wednesday, 4/20/2011

Egypt's Zamalek soccer club fined $80,000, ordered to play in venue without supporters after fan violence

BY GERALD IMRAY
AP SPORTS WRITER
Football fans take to the field earlier this month after an African Champions League match between Zamalek and Tunisian visitor Club Africain in Cairo, Egypt. Police say an unknown number of fans were wounded while rushing a field in Cairo to attack a referee. Football fans take to the field earlier this month after an African Champions League match between Zamalek and Tunisian visitor Club Africain in Cairo, Egypt. Police say an unknown number of fans were wounded while rushing a field in Cairo to attack a referee.
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JOHANNESBURG — 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.



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