NAIROBI, Kenya, May 9 – The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has slapped Kenya with Sh1 million ($10,000) fine after fans caused chaos at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations return leg qualifier match against Guinea Bissau at the Nyayo National Stadium on March 27.
In the decision released Monday after the CAF Disciplinary Board held a meeting on April 18 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the African football governing body also warned Kenya that if such incidences recur, the team may play on a neutral ground or behind closed doors.
The Disciplinary Board charged Kenya’s Harambee Stars with three offences after players contested the referee’s decisions, supporters throwing stones and police using tear gas to disperse the crowd.
“In case a similar incident occurs, team may play on neutral ground or without spectators or at a different stadium,” The Board warned.
Guinea Bissau were served with a warning letter ordering them to respect rules and reinforce security after ball boys invaded the pitch in the first-leg where Kenya suffered a 1-0 defeat.
On March 27, Zimbabwean referee Norman Matemera was forced to stop the second leg for over half an hour after crowd trouble erupted in a match where Harambee Stars went on to lose 1-0 to visitors Guinea Bissau.
The game had to be stopped in the 84th minute after a section of fans from the notorious ‘Russia’ stands threw projectiles into the pitch protesting Guinea Bissau’s goal that had crossed the line despite Stars keeper Arnold Origi doing all he could to parry the strike.
Origi protested to the first assistant referee Selani Ncube after Sanches Semedo scored the contentious goal with eight minutes to stoppage, arguing that he had pushed the ball out before crossing the line, but the match official would hear none of his complains.
Twice, the game was set to go on after a seeming calm had resumed, but a few fans who were still in the stadium threw projectiles forcing the game to be halted again.
A handful of police officers assisted by National Youth Service officers managed to calm down the angry fans for the match to continue.
Kenya, who sit bottom of Group E on one point next host Congo Brazzaville June 3 before travelling to Zambia in September to wrap up their disappointing campaign.