Ugly scenes marred the Arab Championship final between Tunisian giants Esperance and Jordan's Al-Faisaly after the African team scored a controversial extra-time goal that eventually secured them a win at Alexandria Stadium on Sunday.
After both teams headed into extra-time with a 2-2 draw, a goal scored by Esperance's Chamseddine Daoudi in the 101st minute sparked huge protests from the Al-Faisaly squad and management.
Cameroonian midfielder Franck Kom appeared to be in an offside position before setting up Daoudi with the winner, with the Jordanian team flying off the handle right after the goal.
The Al-Faisaly players headed towards Nour El-Din, the Egyptian referee, furiously protesting the goal, with a team director in particular attempting to attack the referee.
Another Al-Faisaly director appeared to be attempting to headbutt Nour El-Din after what initially looked like a friendly conversation between the two, a spat that the match official recounted afterwards.
"I don't know who that guy (the Faisaly official) was, but he was apologising to me," Nour El-Din, who was at the centre of some controversial decisions in the Egyptian league last season, told ONTV.
"He told me my decisions were correct and that's why I was smiling at him, but suddenly he attempted to beat me. He directed a headbutt towards me as I requested him to be sent off."
When asked why he didn't call off the game after he was assaulted, Nour El-Din said that patriotic reasons related to Egypt's image in front of the world were behind his insistence on resuming the game.
"Calling off the game was the easiest decision to make, but Egypt's interest came first," Nour El-Din said.
"Resuming the game was the most important thing, so that everyone would focus on the game itself and forget all about the tension."
Resuming the game until its conclusion did not however signal the end of the mayhem, with the Jordanians continuing to attack the match official even after the final whistle.
A huge number of the Al-Faisaly contingent surrounded the referee once again, and this time some attempted to beat the referee, as security forces tried to protect him from the Jordanian officials.
Reports indicated that the Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA) is currently considering imposing heavy sanctions on Al-Faisaly, who could well be banned from taking part in the following tournaments.
Egyptian Sports Minister Khaled Abdel-Aziz, on the other hand, stated that he received an official apology from his Jordanian counterpart on behalf of the Al-Faisaly contingent.
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