By Nurudeen Obalola:
Algerian club Entente Setif, who were in Nigerian champions Enyimba’s group, have been disqualified from the CAF Champions League.
The Confederation of African Football announced the decision late on Thursday night, explaining it in a statement on their official website.
The statement read: “(The decision was taken) following the regrettable incidents that took place during match no.98 of the 2016 edition of CAF Champions League between ES Setif (Algeria) vs Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa), whereby the referee was obliged to abandon the said match before its end.
“Match officials noted especially the pitch invasion as well as numerous throws of missiles, stones, bottles, and firecrackers, provoking a certain number of injured spectators and members of the security forces.
“The CAF Organizing Committee for the Inter-Clubs Competitions decided to apply the provisions of Chapter XII para 3 and considered ES Sétif loser and eliminated from the competition without prejudice to any other sanctions that may be imposed by CAF Disciplinary Board.
“Chapter XII para 3 stipulates: ‘3. If the referee is forced to stop the match before the end of the regular time because of invasion of the field or aggression against the visiting team, the host team shall be considered loser and shall be eliminated from the competition, without prejudice to the sanctions existing in the regulations.’
CAF added: “Concerning the result of the said match, it is hence cancelled in conformity with the spirit of article XI.13 of the regulations stipulating: ‘If a team withdraws after the start of the group matches without having played half of the group matches, the overall results of the matches in which this team participated is cancelled.”
Sundowns beat Setif 2-0 during that disputed match, but the result has now been cancelled and only three teams, Enyimba, Zamalek and Sundowns, will remain in the group with two of them qualifying for the semi-finals.
Enyimba are scheduled to face Sundowns in South Africa next week after the Nigerians lost their first group match 1-0 at home to Zamalek.
With the disqualification of Setif and cancellation of their result with Sundowns, Zamalek now top Group B with three points while Enyimba and Sundowns are pointless.