By Nurudeen Obalola:
The Confederation of African Football have handed out their joint-biggest fine this week to Etoile du Sahel for the Tunisian club’s handling of the Champions League play-off clash with Enyimba.
Etoile have been fined $45,000 and ordered to play two of their continental matches behind closed doors for disorderly conduct during the home leg of their tie with the Nigerian champions in April.
Enyimba lost the Tunisia leg of the tie 3-0 for a 3-3 aggregate score but the Nigerians won the penalty shootout to qualify for the group stages of this year’s Champions League.
CAF announced the decision, among many others, in a press release on Sunday, one week after their disciplinary committee met in Cairo, Egypt.
According to CAF, missiles and flares were thrown on the pitch by Etoile supporters, while Enyimba players and officials could not reach dressing rooms at half-time.
One of the two matches behind closed doors is suspended, provided Etoile are not found guilty of the same offence in subsequent CAF matches.
Etoile’s Vice-President Jilel Krifa was also fined $5,000 and suspended for four matches for insulting the referee during their Confederation Cup match with Kawkab.
Another $5,000 fine was given to Etoile for the throwing of flares and use of lasers during another Confederation Cup match against FUS Rabat.
The other huge fine announced on Sunday was the $45,000 imposed on ES Setif of Algeria for throwing missiles and flares on to the pitch, and for confrontations between their fans and security officials, which led to their CAF Champions League play-off against Mamelodi Sundowns in April being abandoned and many people injured.
ES Setif have already being disqualified from the competition but they will have to pay the heavy fine and play two matches q behind closed doors.