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Ghana demand action after semi-final chaos

06 February 2015, 16:10

Bata - Ghana called Friday for "strong action" against Africa Cup of Nations hosts Equatorial Guinea after chaos and violence marred their semi-final triumph in Malabo casting a shadow over a dream final.

"Strong action must be taken by the Confederation of African Football (CAF)," Ghana Football Association (GFA) president and CAF executive Kwesi Nyantakyi told reporters.

The unsavoury scenes from the stadium in Malabo likened to "a war zone" in a GFA tweet have marred Sunday's climax between arch-rivals Ghana and Ivory Coast.

At least five Ghanaian supporters were slightly injured Thursday when broken plastic chairs, plastic water bottles and cool drink cans were hurled at them by disgruntled Equatoguinean supporters.

The 500 visiting fans fled from a stand to the pitch and play was halted for more than half an hour eight minutes from time as security officials battled to regain control.

Local supporters had grown increasingly frustrated at an inept showing by the home team who lost the semi-final 3-0 to a Ghana side ranked 81 places higher in the world.

"This kind of conduct is unacceptable and we have formally protested against it to the organisers," said Nyantakyi.

"It is really sad that these attacks on our supporters almost eclipsed the joy of reaching the final of the competition.

"They must be condemned in their entirety," he added.

Equatorial Guinea are due to meet fellow losing semi-finalists the Democratic Republic of Congo in the same Malabo stadium Saturday for third place.

- great African rivalry -

CAF officials will meet Friday to discuss the semi-final violence which further tainted a competition reeling from a penalty controversy.

A dubiously awarded stoppage-time spot-kick that was converted helped Equatorial Guinea shock Tunisia 2-1 in the quarter-finals last Saturday.

Furious Tunisian players tried to attack the Mauritian referee when the final whistle blew and several accused him of trying to "fix" the result.

Tunisian officials have refused to apologise for criticising the penalty decision, as demanded by CAF, and face possible expulsion from the 2017 Cup of Nations qualifiers.

CAF must also decide whether to go ahead with the third-place match ina Malabo.

Options include severely restricting the number of fans allowed into the 15,000-seater, staging the game behind closed doors, or moving it to Bata.

After the match, the Ghanaian supporters were kept at the stadium for several hours while further chaos ensued outside the ground.

Equatorial Guinea supporters broke street light poles and overturned vendors' tables, scattering various goods across the ground

The Ghanaians were escorted back to Malabo airport for the short flight from the island city to Bata on the mainland.

Estadio de Bata, a 35,00-seater, will host the Sunday final that adds another chapter to a great African football rivalry.

Ghana have won five of nine previous clashes in the African football flagship competition, Ivory Coast three and one was drawn.

The draw came in the 1992 final that produced no goals before a marathon penalty shootout finished 11-10 in favour of the Ivorians for their sole Cup of Nations title.

Ghana have been crowned African champions four times, but the last success came 33 years ago in Libya.

Some of the biggest names in African football will be on parade, including reigning African Footballer of the Year Yaya Toure, who plays in midfield for leading English club Manchester City.

His older brother, Kolo, from English outfit Liverpool is also a likely starter and recent Manchester City recruit Wilfried Bony is set to lead the attack.

Ghana stars include midfielder Andre Ayew -- son of three-time African Footballer of the Year Abedi 'Pele' Ayew -- and captain and striker Asamoah Gyan.

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