Senegal will accept punishment after seven Premier League players are caught amid riots in match against Ivory Coast
Seven Premier League players were involved when a riot broke out during the African Cup of Nations qualifying game between Senegal and Ivory Coast on Saturday.
The match at the 60,000-capacity stadium in Dakar was abandoned with Ivory Coast leading 2-0 on the night (6-2 on aggregate) after two Didier Drogba goals.
It was after the second goal, a penalty in the 70th minute, that the situation became serious. Objects began to rain down on the pitch and fires broke out in the stands with supporters apparently angry over the home side's performance.
The players, which included Cheick Tioté, Demba Ba and Papiss Cissé of Newcastle, Arsenal's Gervinho, West Ham's Mohamed Diame and Manchester City's Yaya and Kolo Touré, were escorted from the pitch by police who then fired tear gas into the packed stands.
With the match having been halted for around 40 minutes, the decision was taken to abandon the game. About 10 people were reported injured.
Senegal are likely to face severe repercussions - but it seems likely that with Ivory Coast on the verge of progressing anyway, the 2-0 advantage held on Saturday night will stand.
Senegal team manager Ferdinand Coly has said Senegal will accept any punishment.
“We are going to face some difficult days but Senegal will accept the sanctions,” he said.
“In the meantime, we must apologise to the Ivory Coast and make sure we do everything to avoid this happening again. I feel great sadness because this type of thing has no place on a football pitch or anywhere else.
“For the players, it was traumatic, especially the young ones. The psychological work needed will be extremely difficult.”
Confederation of African Football (CAF) are yet to make a statement on the riots.
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