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Senegal 'escape' with one year stadium ban, fine

Senegalese police look on as fans rampage at Leopold Sedar Senghor stadium in Dakar, in October

Senegalese police look on as fans rampage at Leopold Sedar Senghor stadium in Dakar, in October 2012. Senegal were on Thursday banned from playing in the Dakar stadium where last month crowd trouble blighted their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ivory Coast.

DAKAR - Senegal were on Thursday banned from playing in the Dakar stadium where last month crowd trouble blighted their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ivory Coast.

Thursday’s punishment, in addition to a 100,000 euros-fine, was handed down by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) which had already disqualified Senegal from the 2013 Nations Cup.

Lawyer Guedel Ndiaye, representing Senegal at CAF’s hearing in Cairo, told AFP that the punishment could have been far heavier.

“CAF could have banned Senegal from all international competitions, in which case Senegal could not have taken part in 2014 World Cup qualifiers,” he said.

“They could have outlawed Senegal from playing at home, they could have forced Senegal to play behind closed doors.

“But that hasn’t happened. Senegal can play in front of their fans in Senegal, but just not at the Leopold Sedar Senghor stadium.”

He added that if Senegal and their fans avoided any further trouble over the next year the 100,000 euros fine would be halved.

Following the violence CAF awarded the October 13 game to Didier Drogna’s Ivory Coast side as a 2-0 win, meaning the Ivorians were on their way to the Nations Cup in South Africa starting in January, and not Senegal.

Trouble flared at the 60,000-capacity stadium after a penalty converted by Ivory Coast captain Drogba 15 minutes from time gave the top-ranked African nation a 2-0 lead.

China-based Drogba also scored the opener from a powerfully struck free-kick soon after half-time.

After a 40-minute delay while security officials battled to restore calm, the match was abandoned.

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