Al-Ahram Weekly   Al-Ahram Weekly
3 - 9 February 2000
Issue No. 467
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875 Issues navigation Current Issue Previous Issue Back Issues

 
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Blow to host

MEMBERS of the Nigerian team have hit back after being barracked by their fans for a no-score draw with unfancied Congo in the African Cup of Nations, urging their supporters to be "more civilised". "Our fans should understand that we can't win all our matches and they should be more cultured and civilised in how they react to our performance," team coach Jo Bonfrere said.

Team captain Sunday Oliseh said: "I'm disappointed with the attitude of the fans. Why jeer us when we did not lose?"

The team was locked inside the changing room for their own safety after their poor performance against Congo. Police dispersed irritated local fans with tear gas after they smashed the window of the team bus. The fans had hurled plastic bottles onto the pitch towards the end of the match.

"I think the fans may support Morocco when we play them," said defender Furo Iyenemi. Bonfrere asserted, "The fans must learn to be supportive whatever situation we're in."

Egypt, Nigeria fined

THE CONFEDERATION Africaine de Football (CAF) fined Egypt and Nigeria on Saturday for their fans' unruly behaviour during Cup games. Egypt was told to pay $1,000 after reports that fans stoned Senegalese players during their Group C match which Egypt won 1-0.

Nigeria was fined $2,000 after an angry eruption from home supporters when the co-hosts were held to a 0-0 draw by Congo. In a warning to the Nigerians, the CAF announced: "If the fans continue with such behaviour, Nigeria's matches in Lagos will be played behind closed doors."

Cameroon for cup?

FORMER Cameroon captain Roger Milla believes that his team can make the Cup final. Current coach Pierre Lechantre, however, was more conservative and reckoned his squad will head its opening round group at the expense of Nigeria's co-host Ghana.

Cameroon moved to the top of their group by beating Côte d'Ivoire 3-0 in Accra on Friday to lead Ghana on goal difference.

Milla, who helped Cameroon to victory in 1984 and 1988, said the current side had all the qualities of the generation of players who triumphed twice and also reached the World Cup finals in 1982 and 1990.

"It's been refreshing to see a Cameroon team play to its full potential at the Nations Cup for the first time in a long while," he said. "We can go all the way to the final."

Samba denies sacking

CONGO's goalkeeper, Bruce Samba, denied being sacked by Côte d'Ivoire club Africa Sports and said he was waiting for a transfer to German club FC Wuppertal. Côte d'Ivoire media reports said the goalkeeper was sacked by Africa Sports due to lack of discipline and poor form.

"To say I was sacked by Africa Sports for any reason isn't true because I'm now a free player," Samba said. Samba, 28, a survivor of Congo's 1992 Cup team, superbly blocked the Nigerian attack in Friday's Group D match which ended 0-0. The stocky keeper said Africa Sports had demanded too high a fee for his transfer. "I then bought off the last three months of my contract. After this Nations Cup, I'll join Wuppertal," he said.

Olympic mêlée

EGYPT'S volleyball team qualified for this year's Sydney Olympics in a tournament marred by rampaging Tunisian players. The scuffle broke out in Ahli club in Cairo immediately after Egypt had beaten Tunisia 3-1. Tunisian players attacked the referee, Egyptian players and fans. As yet unspecified punitive measures will be meted out to the North Africans by both the African and international volleyball federations.

Egypt qualified for the summer showcase after trouncing Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon and Algeria by identical 3-0 scores, conceding just one set to Tunisia en route to finishing atop their group. As a result, Egypt will represent Africa in the Summer Games scheduled to be held from 16 September to 1 October.

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