Caf sanction Senegal players after Cameroon clash

Caf have officially suspended four Senegalese players and coach Amara Traore after their expulsion during the Cameroon encounter in Yaounde

Senegal will play their penultimate 2012 Afcon qualifier against DR Congo in early September short of four key players and coach Amara Traore following Caf’s decision to comply with the referee’s match report from the fourth round face-off against Cameroon on June 4.

Fenerbahçe forward Mamadou Niang, Bordeaux midfielder Lamine Sane and the coach were each handed a one-match ban, while Issiar Dia and Olympique Marseille’s central defender Souleymane Diawara received two-match suspensions.

The referee of the encounter, Angolan-born Helder Carvalho, booked four Senegal players and sent off two others, Dia and Sane during a busy match where aggression prevailed, but decisions were not easily accepted by the Senegalese players or staff.

The Teranga Lions coach, Amara Traore, was also sent off for contesting the referee’s decisions, and captain Niang complained to the official too.

The Senegal Football Federation (FSF) immediately reacted to the decision, pointing at Diawara’s case as a mistake by Caf.

“Souleymane Diawara was never given a card during the match, and so needed not to be on the list. We have sent a fax to notify Caf of the error,” a statement from the FSF published on Friday by Senegal Press Agency, APS, said.

Senegal Prime Minister Souleymane Ndene Ndiaye had denounced the performance of the encounter’s referee, Carvalho, accusing Caf president Issa Hayatou – a Cameroonian – of being responsible.

“Issa Hayatou no longer have the merit to lead Caf. He sat and watched with his eyes in his homeland an officiating scandal, which does not bring pride to refereeing in Africa,” Ndiaye had said.

Senegal lead Group E with 10 points ahead of DR Congo on seven, while Cameroon, with only five points and two matches remaining, have their chances to reach the continental showpiece hanging by a thread.

NGORAN GUILIO BERNGEH

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