Tunisia appeal to CAS over Nations Cup sanctions

Referee Rajindraparsad Seechurn, second from right, is shielded by security personal against the Tunisia's player at the end of the African Cup of Nations quarter final soccer match against Equatorial Guinea in Bata, Jan. 31, 2015. (File Photo:AP)

Tunisia followed Morocco to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Thursday as the recriminations continued following a chaotic African Nations Cup tournament.

Beaten 2-1 by hosts Equatorial Guinea in a tumultuous quarter-final, Tunisia appealed against a ruling which ordered them to apologize for accusing the Confederation of African Football (CAF) of bias, CAS said in a statement.

Tunisia have been told by CAF that they will be kicked out of the qualifying competition for the next Nations Cup in 2017 if they do not back down by the end of next month.

The North Africans were enraged after Equatorial Guinea were awarded a highly contentious stoppage time penalty, which they converted to equalize, before winning the tie 2-1 in extra-time.

Television pictures showed Tunisian players chasing after the referee, trying to punch and kick him, at the end of the match.

CAF said it "instructed the Tunisian federation to send to CAF a letter of apology for the insinuations of bias and lack of ethics against CAF and its officials, or to present irrefutable evidence to substantiate the accusations".

CAF also fined Tunisia $50,000 and banned referee Rajindraparsad Seechurn for six months but did not hand out any individual sanctions to players. Equatorial Guinea were fined $5,000 for a pitch invasion by their fans.

There was more controversy in the semi-final when Ghana's 3-0 win over Equatorial Guinea was interrupted by crowd trouble for 40 minutes.

Equatorial Guinea were fined $100,000 while Morocco, who were originally scheduled to host the tournament but requested a postponement due to fears over the spread of the Ebola virus, suffered the toughest sanctions.

Already banned from this year's competition after CAF stripped them of the tournament and moved it to Equatorial Guinea, Morocco were also kicked out of the 2017 and 2019 competitions.

In addition, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) were fined $1 million and ordered to pay 8.05 million euros ($9.12 million) in damages to the CAF and their partners.

The FRMF lodged an appeal with CAS on Tuesday.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:54 - GMT 10:54
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