Final ref mistakes spark fury against Chinese in DR Congo

AFP, Saturday 18 Dec 2010

Congolese police fired over the heads of residents in the city of Lubumbashi on Saturday after local football club TP Mazembe lost the final of the Club World Cup to Italian giants Inter Milan

Congo Fans
TP Mazembe fans were unhappy with the referee's decisions

Mazembe were hoping to become the first African winners of the event but Inter, the European champions, proved too strong as they cantered to a 3-0 victory in Abu Dhabi.

The loss sparked sporadic looting in Lubumbashi as disappointed fans took out their anger on Chinese-run stores, an AFP correspondent reported.

Some fans who watched the game on television in the capital city of Katanga smashed windows and began looting Chinese-owned mobile telephone premises but police intervened and restored order and nobody was reported injured.

During the game, some fans had criticised several decisions by the Japanese referee and, mistaking the official's nationality, had chanted "Chinese go home."

China has a substantial commercial presence in Lubumbashi and Katanga, with Chinese firms involved in copper mining in the region.

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