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February 10, 2008 | Cup of Nations

CAF confirm Bikey will miss final

GBC News
Bikey is sent off by referee Abderrahim El Arjoune
Bikey is sent off by referee Abderrahim El Arjoune

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) have confirmed that Cameroon's Andre Bikey will miss the Africa Cup of Nations final for pushing over a medic. The 23-year-old picked up a two-game ban after he was sent off during his team's 1-0 semi-final win over Ghana.

Cameroon coach Otto Pfister hoped an appeal would clear the defender but Caf also hit the team with a $5,000 fine.

The incident occurred in injury time when the attendant was treating Bikey's injured team-mate Rigobert Song.

Bikey, who plays for Reading in the English Premier League, appeared to take issue with how quickly Song was being placed on a stretcher by the medical officials.

He was then pelted with water bottles as he left the pitch and needed a police escort down the tunnel.

On Friday Reading manager Steve Coppell said Bikey would be in emotional turmoil.

"It is the ultimate punishment and I can only imagine it was not on the spur of the moment," he said.

"He will be in pain. To have played in all the games, and played well in them, and miss final, will hurt."

Reading club-mate Ibrahima Sonko defended Bikey's actions.

The Senegal international said: "He over-reacted but he had been pushed first. Bikey was just trying to protect this old man who was there to help Song."

Song was injured when he fell heavily after a collision with Ghana striker Junior Agogo and his own goalkeeper and a small team of medical staff, including a buggy, were called onto the pitch to help the defender.

A dispute seemed to develop between Cameroon's own medical team and the pitch-side officials about where to treat Song - either on or off the pitch.

But the argument was interrupted by Bikey when he pushed one of the pitch-side officials, who fell to the floor.

Referee Abderrahim El Arjoune from Morocco had little choice but to send off the defender.

Bikey's red card was only the third dismissal of the tournament.

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