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Zamalek players hailed for protecting Tunisian team

Zamalek players protected their Club Africain counterparts following pitch invasion by fans in Saturday’s Champions League clash in Cairo stadium

Hatem Maher , Saturday 2 Apr 2011
Africian V Zamalek
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Club Africain players said they were protected by their Zamalek counterparts amid the chaotic scenes from fans invading the field that forced the cancellation of an African Champions League clash on Saturday.

The match was called off in stoppage time after thousands of fans invaded Cairo Stadium’s pitch before attacking Africain players, some of whom were injured.

“Zamalek players defended us against the wave of attacks,” Africain defender Bilal Ifa, who was sent off in the match for a second bookable offense, said in a television interview.

“Four players from our team sustained injuries during the melee, which erupted after the fans stormed the pitch.”

Africian skipper Wissem Ben Yahia also said he was grateful to Zamalek players for "doing their best to stop the hooligans."

TV footage showed several Zamalek players, including skipper Abdel El-Wahed El-Sayed and Ivorian striker Abou Kone, standing in front of their Africain counterparts to repel hooligan attacks.

Africian players and technical staff were eventually escorted by the Egyptian army until they arrived at their hotel.

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