Club Africain won’t file complaint against Zamalek

Eslam Omar, Sunday 3 Apr 2011

Tunisia’s Club Africain leaves Cairo safely after surviving an assault by Zamalek’s angry fans in a Champions League match, but stand in solidarity with Cairo team

Zamalek vs. Club Africain
A man wielding a wooden plank chases after football fans after they stormed the field in Cairo, Egypt. (Photo: AP)

Guarded by large numbers of military police forces, Tunisian Club Africian flew back to their homeland on Sunday morning following a violent turn from Egyptian fans in the Champions League encounter against Zamalek at Cairo Stadium.

A free-for-all erupted in stoppage time after Zamalek had a goal disallowed for offside, with thousands of fans invading the pitch to attack Africain players.

Zamalek were leading 2-1 but were on the verge of exiting the Champions League from the preliminary round after failing to overturn the 4-2 first-leg deficit. Africain are expected to be awarded victory by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), which is yet to officially comment on the incident.

The Tunisian club members said they were astonished following the ugly scenes, given that “Zamalek supporters were disciplined for the majority of the game.”

 “What happened will not affect the good relationships between the brother countries,” head of Africain delegation Jamal Al-Amrousy said.

“We will not complain against Zamalek, but rather we will defend them, especially after the great welcome we received in Cairo.”

The president of National Sports Council, Hassan Sakr and the president of the Egyptian Football Association, Samir Zaher visited the Tunisian embassy in Egypt on Sunday to apologise for what happened.

They also offered to hold a friendly match between Egypt and Tunisia to confirm their collegial relationship following popular revolts that forced the presidents of both countries to step down and have been an inspiration for other Arab protests.

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