Ismaily face heavy Caf sanctions for abandoned Champions League match

Angry Ismaily fans became uncontrollable, leading to the abandonment of their Caf Champions League match

Egyptian side Ismaily could be expelled from the 2018/2019 Caf Champions League after their fans ran amok and caused the abandonment of Friday’s Group C match against Club Africain.

The match match could not be concluded as Club Africain led 2-1, before missiles continuosuly rained onto the pitch after also a number of previous brief stoppages again due to crowd trouble.

Ismailia Stadium where the match took place, is one of the venues for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations to be held in June. Ghazi Ayadi struck a brace for Club Africain, both goals coming from the penalty spot, while Benson Shilongo had earlier on thrust Ismaily ahead.

It was Ayadi’s second penalty which sparked protests from Ismaily fans as Cameroonian referee Neant Alioum had initially awarded a free-kick just outside the box after Yassine Chamakhi was fouled by Ghanaian defender Richard Baffour.

But after consultations with one of his assistants, Alioum changed his decision into a penalty struck just before halftime. The second half saw little action with several stoppages that led to a lengthy one towards the end of the match as Ismaily fans hurled bottles onto the pitch, leading to the game being called off by the referee.

Ismaily, who are making a return to the Champions League for the first time since 2010, are likely to know their fate from Caf next week and there is a strong possibility that they could be expelled from the tournament, under Caf regulations.

Meanwhile, Al Ahly coach Martin Larsate has described as a “fair” result their 1-1 draw with JS Saoura away in Algeria on Friday.

Al Ahly had to thank Karim Nedved’s late headed goal which salvaged a point for them after Yahia Cherif had put Saoura ahead on the hour mark.

Having collected three points in their first game against AS Vita and now scrapping for a point, Uruguayan coach Lasarte is not complaining about the two pints dropped.

“The game was balanced, but in the second-half the opponents were better and managed to score a goal, which inspired my players and pushed them to score the equaliser,” Lasarte was quoted as saying by Kingfut.

“The result is fair, we came to Algeria with many absences and injuries. We gave Yasser Ibrahim his debut and added Hamdi Fathi to the squad. Walid Soliman has also waited to recover until the last moment to participate in the game.”

Elsewhere, FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza was satisfied by his team’s performance despite losing 2-0 to reigning champions Esperance away in Tunis.

A brace by Yassine Khenissi downed the platinum miners who are debuting in the group stages of this competition and are yet to win a game or score after drawing 0-0 with Orlando Pirates in their first match.

Mapeza attributed the defeat by Esperance to his side's lack of Champions League experience and drew positives from the way his men executed themselves.

“It was a good game of football. We came here looking for a positive result but that didn’t happen today,” Mapeza told Cafonline.

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“I am very happy with my boys, they were well prepared today. We defended very well, even though we were a bit short in terms of going forward.

“We were playing against a very experienced side in the Caf Champions League, so losing 2-0 is not a bad result. Other clubs come here and lose 5-0. It was the experience that I need as a coach and we need as a team to better ourselves.”

Mapeza’s opposite number Mouine Chaabani pointed to FC Platinum’s “tight and well-coordinated defence” as having restricted his side from recording a high-scoring win.