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02.04.2006 Football News

Ethiopia's St George face expulsion after walkoff

By Reuters

JOHANNESBURG, April 1 (Reuters) - Ethiopian club St George face almost certain expulsion from the African Champions League after walking off the pitch just before halftime in their second round, second leg match at Hearts of Oak on Saturday.

The St George players threw off their shirts and stormed off after their Ghanaian opponents had been awarded a second penalty in the first half of their match in Obuasi.

St George beat former champions Hearts of Oak 4-0 in a surprise first leg triumph in Addis Ababa and had high expectations of continuing their giantkilling run in this year's competition after their first round success over ENPPI of Egypt.

St George held out for the first 31 minutes before Benin referee Crestin Aguidissou awarded the hosts a penalty, converted by Bernard Dong Bortey.

An indirect free kick nine minutes later allowed Dong Bortey to make it 2-0 and halve the deficit, setting off a storm of protest from the visitors which held up play for five minutes.

Soon after the referee handed Hearts another spotkick during nine minutes of time added on at the end of the half because of the stoppages, prompting the walk-off.

St George had six players booked in the first half.

The club's expulsion from the competition is likely to be verified by the Confederation of African Football next week. The competition's rules state that any team that stages a walk-off is deemed to lose their tie.

Hearts would next meet last year's runners-up Etoile Sahel of Tunisia, who had a comfortable 3-0 home win over AS Polisi of Zanzibar in their second round, second leg tie.

Etoile had won the first leg 2-0 away.


Morocco's Royal Armed Forces scrapped through on the away goals rule against fellow army side APR FC of Rwanda after a 1-0 win in the second leg of their tie in Rabat on Saturday.

Houcine Ouchla's early goal settled the tie in the north African side's favour.

Tyren Arendse scored two goals in Orlando Pirates' 4-0 home win over AS Port Louis 2000 of Mauritius in Potchefstroom on Saturday, handing the South African side an 9-0 aggregate win.

They next meet Al Hilal of Sudan, winners in Friday's match-up against Enugu Rangers of Nigeria.