The Confederation of African Football (CAF) said it will investigate a pitch invasion by supporters of Egyptian club Zamalek in an African Champions League match.
CAF said that its disciplinary body will meet in Johannesburg in April to consider reports by match officials after home fans invaded the field at Cairo Stadium to attack the referee and visiting players during Saturday’s game against Tunisian team Club Africain.
Five players of the visiting side were injured and two of them were hospitalised following the attack. Striker Aymen Soltanisuffered head injuries while goalkeeper Wissem Ben Yahya was injured in the face.
With the game level at 1-1 and Club Africain leading 5-3 on aggregate, Algerian referee Mohamed Meknoz disallowed a Zamalek goal for offside 3 minutes into injury time, prompting the violence. The match was abandoned shortly afterwards.
“CAF reiterates its call to all National Associations, clubs, players and supporters to help enforce and promote the spirit of fair play in all CAF competitions,” the statement added.
Zamalek could face a three-year ban from African club competition.
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) also responded to the violence – where stick-wielding fans clashed with police – by postponing the planned return of the country’s domestic football league.
In an emergency meeting on Sunday, the EFA apologized to Club Africain and said the Egyptian league would not resume next week.
EFA president Samir Zaher was also part of a group of officials that visited the Tunisian embassy in Cairo to make a formal apology to the ambassador, the EFA said.
“The Board of Directors of the Egyptian Football Association and the president, Samir Zaher, apologize to the Tunisian people and Tunisia’s Club Africain after the unfortunate events that took place in the Zamalek match,” EFA said on its website.
“We will hold a series of meetings with officials to discuss the situation and the final solutions for the resumption of the competition,” Zaher said on Sunday after confirming the league had been postponed for a second time following the political upheaval in the country that saw the overthrow of President Mubarak.
Zaher added the EFA was considering holding matches behind closed doors to avoid a repeat of the violence.