CAF probe Merrikh violence against football referee

Johannesburg (AFP) – African football body CAF are probing violent behaviour by footballers and officials of Sudanese club Al Merrikh toward a referee during a Confederation Cup play-off in Morocco.

Gabonese Eric Otogo-Castane had to retreat from the six-yard box to the centre circle late Wednesday as he was repeatedly pushed by players furious at the harsh awarding of a penalty.

Moroccan TV showed a burly Merrikh official hitting the referee on the side of the face in Marrakech before being led from the field by one of the Sudanese team.

CAF spokesman Junior Binyam said the Cairo-based organisation are studying footage of the incident while waiting for the match officials’ report.

The mayhem lasted 12 minutes before Mohamed El Fakih converted the tie-deciding penalty for local club Kawkab, who won the second leg 2-0 and the play-off 2-1 on aggregate.

Kawkab and fellow Moroccan club FUS Rabat are among eight qualifiers for the group draw in Cairo on May 24.

Title-holders Etoile Sahel of Tunisia, TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Al Ahly Tripoli of Libya, Medeama of Ghana, Mouloudia Bejaia of Algeria and Young Africans of Tanzania complete the line-up.

The second-tier Confederation Cup is the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League and offers a $660,000 (590,000 euros) first prize.


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