The Ivory Coast were ahead 2-0 with just 14 minutes to go in the playoff game in Dakar tonight, when Senegal fans started to flood out of the stadium, and small fires were started in the stands and play was held up – but it seems there is no way this game will get underway now, and the clock is stopped at 76 minutes 24 seconds.
That means the Ivory Coast are winning 6-2 on aggregate with just 14 minutes to go, so we would assume the result will stand, but we have nothing official on this as yet.
It was Didier Drogba who scored direct f from a free kick in the second half, and then he converted a penalty shortly before the fires were started.
In the first half Senegal were the better side and Newcastle’s Cheick Tiote was lucky not to see a red card as he seemed to lash out at ……. Papiss Cisse …….his Newcastle team-mate, but it seems the referee didn’t see the incident.
Cheick really needs to show more discipline in these games, as he is in danger of picking up yellow cards again, and he picked up 15 in his first season on Tyneside.
Gervinho had the best chance for the Ivory Coast in the first half, but Senegal were the side pressing the most.
At half time it was 0-0 and then Papiss Cisse missed a good chance with a header for Senegal before Didier Drogba got the go ahead goal.
And then after Ivory Coast went 2-0 up when Drogba converted a penalty, small fires were started and objects were hurled onto the pitch, and the players and then the coaches – and then every official in the Stadium seemed to gather in the center of the pitch.
We have to assume the result will stand since this may have been attempt by Senegal fans to get the match abandoned, so they could live to fight another day.
We’d be surprised if that happens, and the ending of this game does not reflect well on African football.
And a similar occurrence happened in 2008 when Senegal also failed to qualify, this time with Gambia as the opposition, and during that game fires were also lit around the ground.
As we send out this report there is still a possibility that play will resume, with the officials and players still standing around the center of the pitch after the game has been held up for about 45 minutes.
Update – the game has now been officially abandoned.