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CAF disqualifies St George

CAF disqualifies St George

Accra, April 6, GNA - The Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) have disqualified St George of Ethiopia from the 2006 Champions League competition, following their decision to abandon the second leg game of the competition against Accra Hearts of Oak at the Obuasi Len Clay Stadium last Saturday.

Information gathered by the GNA Sports confirms the reports but Mr Ashford Tettey-Oku, Administrative Manager of Hearts said the Club is yet to receive official directives from CAF, even though they have been informed of the decision.

Hearts have therefore been confirmed of their automatic qualification to the next stage of the competition with a date against old foes, Etoile Du Sahel of Tunisia in the final phase of the qualifiers as a check at the website of the continental body confirms.

CAF's action is in line with Article 16 Regulations which states that "If for any reason whatsoever, a team withdraws from the competition or does not report for a match - except in case of force majeure accepted by the Organising Committee - or if it refuses to play or leaves the ground before the regular end of the match without the permission of the referee, it shall be considered loser and shall be eliminated from the competition. The same shall be applied to the teams which were declared disqualified by decision of CAF".

St George staged a walk out in their second leg game against Hearts at Obuasi in protest against a decision of the referee to award Hearts a penalty in the latter parts of the first half.

The Ethiopians stood on their grounds to stay off the pitch in protest despite calls from the referee and this compelled the 'Knight of the Whistle' to call off the match after 30 minutes wait.

Before the incident, Hearts were then up by two goals to nil. St George won the first leg by 4-0 and Hearts needed five unanswered goals in the second leg to secure a ticket to the next stage but had their task made easier by the infamous decision of the Ethiopians.

Information reaching the GNA Sports reveals that the Ethiopian side risk facing more sanctions at the next sitting of CAF on May 12. There are indications that the East Africans might be fined or banned in addition to their disqualification from the competition.

Mr Tettey-Oku however denied reports that CAF were demanding for a video tape on the match, describing such reports as "untruths".

"In cases where there are conflicting reports on a match, the report of the match officials reigns supreme and this is what CAF used to make their ruling". Mr Tettey-Oku noted.

He said the Club will begin feverish preparations towards their game against the Tunisians in a bid to make another historic entry into the league stages of the competition.

Mr Tettey-Oku said matches between the two sides (Hearts and Etoile du Sahel) have always followed a similar pattern with each side winning its home matches, adding that this therefore calls for a much serious preparations on the part of the Phobians.