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16.06.2003 Football News

Africa News Round-up

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African league round-up JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -- Violence that has marred African Nations Cup qualifiers this month spilt onto the domestic league scene in Nigeria and Zambia at the weekend. Raja Casablanca continued to climb up the Moroccan league standings, reviving its title hopes with a 3-0 win over bitter rival Wydad Casablanca. NIGERIA -- An armed attack on the team bus of Gombe United has left one player in hospital and forced the postponement of the club's meeting with champions Enyimba, Nigerian press reports said Monday. Gombe United's Kalu Usim was hospitalised after the attack on the bus by suspected robbers en route to Aba for the match against Enyimba, league officials were quoted as saying. Another player was also injured in the attack but discharged after treatment. Leader Enugu Rangers lost 1-0 to Wikki Tourists on Saturday but stays four points ahead of second-placed Enyimba, which has three matches in hand after playing in the early rounds of the African Champions League over the last two months. Enyimba is scheduled to meet third-placed Gabros International on Wednesday. Gabros overtook Bendel Insurance, now down to fourth, after its 1-0 home win over Dolphin FC on Sunday. Insurance were beaten by Niger Tornadoes on Saturday. ZAMBIA -- Police used teargas to disperse angry fans of Power Dynamos seeking to attack the club's coach Ben Bamfuchile after a surprise 2-1 home defeat by National Assembly in Kitwe on Sunday. The result left Dynamos in third place, three points behind leader Nkana FC and two behind defending champion Zanaco. It was Dynamos' first defeat in 32 league matches stretching back to June 30 last year, midway through last season. Dynamos had been in the lead at halftime. Nkana leapt over Zanaco with a 1-0 win at Chabeshi Blackburn with a 20th-minute goal from Kelvin Mubanga. Zanaco were held to 1-1 draw by Red Arrows. MOROCCO -- An early goal from Mustapha Bidoudane set Raja on its way to a convincing 3-0 win over Wydad in the Casablanca derby, watched by some 70,000, on Sunday. Raja is now second, three points behind defending champion Hassania Agadir, having been down in eighth spot in January when experienced French coach Henri Michel replaced Belgian Walter Meeuws.

Bidoudane scored after three minutes and also added the third in the 63rd minute. Hamid Nater got the second just after the break.

Hassania won 2-0 away to FUS Rabat with second half goals from Noureddine Boubou and Mohamed Kharbouche.

It has 50 points from 26 matches, having played one game less than Raja Casablanca and COD Meknes, which slipped to third. Meknes was held 0-0 at Tihad Sporting.

Bottom-placed Ittihad Riadi Tanger dented the hopes of fourth-placed Maghreb Fes with a last-minute winner. Maghreb Fes is now four points off the lead with three games to go.

CAMEROON -- Bamboutos moved into a tie at the top of the standings after a 2-0 home win over third-placed Cintra Yaounde in Mbouda on Sunday.

Bamboutos now has 30 points alongside defending champion Canon Yaounde, which is away to Racing Bafoussam on Wednesday.

Cotonsport, which is through to the quarterfinals of this year's Confederation of African Football (CAF) Cup, moved to within three points of the leaders with a 4-0 win over Stade Bandjoun on Sunday. Cintra has dropped to fourth. CAF to consider action after violent incidents

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -- The Confederation of African Football (CAF) is to meet in Cairo next month to take action after a series of serious incidents of violence at African Nations Cup qualifiers earlier this month.

CAF said in a statement Monday that it would convene a meeting of key members of the tournament's organizing committee on July 12 to go through reports of the incidents in Kampala and Dakar and take any "necessary actions accordingly."

Violence marred qualifying matches in Senegal and Uganda on June 7, adding to a long-standing list of violent incidents in competitive matches on the African continent. Rival fans fought in the crowd during the derby between Senegal and Gambia in Dakar, in which 18 people were injured, 10 from the Gambia. There were reports of the death of three Gambians in Senegal after the match but denied by authorities in both countries. Angry youths The next day, angry youths armed with cutlasses, axes and knives attacked Senegalese nationals in the Gambian capital Banjul and other nearby towns. The youths ransacked several Senegalese-owned businesses, shouting they would kill any Senegalese who came their way.

In Banjul, Senegalese shopkeepers shut down their businesses and ran for cover.

The rioters also smashed up a Senegalese school, destroying computers and other pieces of furniture. The army deployed at the school and in other sensitive areas dispersed the protesters with warning shots, and the government appealed for calm.

Authorities declared a dusk-to-dawn curfew. Tens of thousands Senegalese nationals live in Gambia, a sliver of land almost entirely surrounded by Senegal.

Air Senegal stopped its flights out of Banjul, virtually isolating the former English colony.

It meant that the Gambian Olympic team, which was due to play a qualifying match in Morocco this weekend, was unable to travel for the game, which had to be postponed.

There was fighting between the players of Uganda and Rwanda in their derby match in Kampala, also on June 7.

Ugandan policemen with wooden truncheons, waded into the fracas and hit out at players from Rwanda, several of whom had their shirts torn and were bloodied by the blows.

Rwanda refused to continue with the match after the fracas but were persuaded to resume after a lengthy delay and scored an upset 1-0 win in the Group 13 encounter.

The fracas started when a security guard grabbed an object from the Rwandan goal, which Ugandan officials insisted were magic charms but Rwanda said were the goalkeeper's gloves.

CAF is also likely to consider a protest from the Cape Verde Islands after its 5-2 defeat in Togo in a Group Five qualifier on June 8.

The Cape Verdians are protesting against the inclusion of two Brazilian footballers -- Alexandro Faria and Paulo Jefferson de Souza -- in the Togolese side for the match in Lome.

Both players, given Togolese nationality before the game, scored in the victory, Faria getting the opening goal after three minutes.

Both had been brought to Togo in the last year by the country's Brazilian coach Antonio Dumas.

Liberia's qualifier switched to Accra

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -- Liberia's African Nations Cup qualifier against Guinea this weekend has been moved away from the west African country because of fighting in the capital Monrovia.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced in Cairo on Monday that the Group Two match would now be played in Accra, Ghana on Saturday, June 21.

Fighting in Liberia between government and rebel groups has reached the capital Monrovia in recent weeks.

Liberia also used Accra as a venue for four home games during the qualifiers for the 1998 World Cup finals in France because of civil war in Liberia.

It beat the Gambia and Egypt in Accra but lost to Tunisia and Togo during 1996 and 1997.

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