Defiant Tunisia stand firm over quarter-final furore

Tunisia players confront the referee Rajindraparsad Seechurn after losing their quarter-final soccer match of the 2015 African Cup of Nations against Equatorial Guinea in Bata January 31, 2015. (Photo: Reuters)
Wednesday 4 Feb 2015
The Tunisia Football Federation (FTF) were Wednesday on a collision course with Africa Cup of Nations organisers CAF over the quarter-final referee furore

The Tunisians have been fined $50,000 dollars for "insolent, aggressive and unacceptable behaviour of the players and officials of the Tunisian team" in the 2-1 loss to hosts Equatorial Guinea in Bata on Saturday.

CAF have ordered them to apologise, or provide evidence of the unfairness of CAF and their officials, before midnight Thursday.

Non compliance could lead to Tunisia being banned from 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying.

But in a defiant response the FTF said they had done nothing wrong.

"The Tunisian Football Federation did not display outrage to CAF's executive committee nor to its officials," FTF vice-president Maher Snoussi told AFP.

He added: "Why apologise? We've asked CAF to clarify why we should have to say sorry. We'd said the referee had made mistakes against us...we'd asked for CAF to open an inquiry."

Tunisian tempers flared after Mauritian referee Rajindraparsad Seechurn awarded the Nations Cup hosts a dubious stoppage-time penalty.

When the final whistle sounded, riot police had to protect the match officials from furious Tunisian players.

Belgium-born Tunisia coach George Leekens suggested after the match that Seechurn might have wanted the home team to win, calling the penalty decision "forced".

CAF have banned Seechurn for six months for his role in the affair, sent him home and dropped from the CAF elite referees panel.

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