Newcastle’s three African players, who played in the Senegal vs Ivory Coast play-off tie on Saturday night which ended in riots by the Senegal fans – Cheick Tiote, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse - will be returning to Newcastle tomorrow.
The aftermath in Senegal on Saturday evening
The Ivory Coast were leading by two Didier Drogba goals, one from a free kick and one from a disputed penalty, when fires were lit in the stands and and fans started to throw objects onto the pitch, and 30 people were said to be injured both inside and outside the ground.
Senegal fans were upset by being behind 6-2 on aggregate, with just 14 minutes remaining of the two match play-off tie.
The African Federation has still to say what they are going to do about the fracas, but the result is almost sure to stand, and therefore the Ivory Coast go through to the finals on a 6-2 aggregate over the two legs.
The Senegalese FA has admitted the responsibility for the riot lay with their own fans:
“Unfortunately the match ended in very sombre circumstances.” “The referee was forced to stop in the match in the 72nd minute with the score at 2-0 because of serious outbreaks in the stands by very unhappy Senegalese supporters. “
Senegal’s official news agency APS added:
“Mr Gakou has been hurt by a stone and was evacuated.” “We had three cases of wounds that required stitches and four or five cases of discomfort or pain.” “But there were no serious injuries, people were not trampled.”
“The match was halted and the Lions of Senegal will not qualify for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.”
Newcastle will now lose Cheick Tiote to the African Cup of Nations starting in January, and we have cover in Vurnon Anita and Gael Bigirimana, and it would have been very difficult to have replaced Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba had Senegal qualified.
But at least in that case we would have been sure to have seen at least one new striker through the door in January.
That’s true, isn’t it?
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