Tunisia consider response to CAF demand for apology
If Tunisia does not apologise to the Confederation of African Football, they will face expulsion from the next ANC qualifiers
Tunisia’s football federation will meet on Wednesday to consider its response to a demand for an apology to CAF after accusing the continental governing body of cheating.
If Tunisia decide not to apologise to the Confederation of African Football then they will face expulsion from the next African Nations Cup qualifiers.
In the wake of the violent scenes that followed Tunisia’s controversial elimination from the tournament by Equatorial Guinea last Saturday, the north Africans have been fined $50,000 and ordered to say sorry.
The tournament hosts beat Tunisia 2-1 having equalised after being awarded a dubious penalty on the stroke of full-time, and then scoring a stunning free kick in extra time to claim an unlikely semi-final berth.
CAF said Tunisia must apologise for “the insinuations of bias and lack of ethics against CAF and its officials, or to present irrefutable evidence to substantiate the accusations”.
The African governing body gave Tunisia a deadline of midnight on Thursday to respond or face the possibility of being disqualified from the next qualifiers, which start in June.
“Our response will be collective and will follow a meeting today (Wednesday),” said Tunisian Football Federation executive member Ahmed Kandara.
“We remain convinced that there was a serious injustice. The referee has been suspended which is really just early retirement. We were told that the costs of a door and a broken refrigerator in the changing room was about $50,000. We accept this estimate with no problem,” Kandara added.
CAF suspended Mauritius referee Rajindraparsad Seechurn for his inability to control the match and took him off Africa’s elite panel.
Tunisia were fined a collective $50,000 but there will be no action against individual players who tried to attack the referee despite CAF’s earlier statement on the incident mentioning this as a possibility.
CAF said it had reached its decision after examining several incidents including a pitch invasion by fans, the aggressive attitude of some supporters in the stands, an invasion of the pitch after the final whistle by players and substitutes of the Tunisian team -- insulting the referee of the match and trying to physically assault him -- and the “regrettable behaviour” of the president of the Tunisian Football Federation, Wadie Jary, who went onto the field to remonstrate with the match officials.
CAF sources told Reuters no video evidence was taken into account at Tuesday’s disciplinary hearing and the referee did not make any mention of the attempted attacks in his report.
CAF also did not take any action against Equatorial Guinea defender Sipoto for spitting on a Tunisian opponent, an incident shown during the television broadcast of Saturday’s quarter-final at Estadio de Bata.