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Senegal disqualified from 2013 Africa Cup of Nations

updated 12:53 PM EDT, Tue October 16, 2012
Fans set fire to the stands in Dakar on Saturday, as Ivory Coast's second goal effectively eliminated the hosts from the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, with the Confederation of African Football disqualifying Senegal from the tournament on Tuesday.
Fans set fire to the stands in Dakar on Saturday, as Ivory Coast's second goal effectively eliminated the hosts from the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, with the Confederation of African Football disqualifying Senegal from the tournament on Tuesday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Senegal disqualified from 2013 Africa Cup of Nations after rioting caused abandonment of match on Saturday
  • Opponents Ivory Coast confirmed as winners of the match and as qualifiers for January's finals in South Africa
  • African football's ruling body CAF does not rule out possibility of further sanctions

(CNN) -- Senegal were disqualified from the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations on Tuesday, as the Confederation of African Football (CAF) confirmed Ivory Coast's participation at January's finals in South Africa.

Senegal's second leg playoff qualifier against the Ivorians on Saturday was called off by the referee after 74 minutes as disgruntled fans rioted moments after Didier Drogba scored to give the visitors a 6-2 aggregate lead at the Leopold Senghor Stadium in Dakar.

"CAF decided to officially confirm that result of the match as 2-0 in favour of Ivory Coast in accordance with the provisions of article 16 para 20 of the regulations of the competition and to consider Senegal the loser of the said match and eliminated from the competition," African football's ruling body said in a statement.

After meeting at CAF headquarters in the Egyptian capital Cairo on Tuesday, the organization also stipulated that Senegal's disqualification will not prevent then from receiving further sanctions.

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If previous CAF punishments are followed, Senegal can expect to play some future competitive qualifiers away from their capital Dakar.

After crowd trouble by home fans followed Togo's elimination from the 2008 Nations Cup by visitors Mali, the Togolese were punished by playing their next three competitive games in a neutral venue and barred from hosting a match at their national stadium for six months.

Read: Cape Verde and Ethiopia shake up Africa Cup of Nations

Senegal has experienced crowd trouble before, most notably when another qualifying failure -- for the World Cup and Nations Cup finals in 2010 -- sparked fans into throwing rocks onto the pitch in Dakar while lighting fans inside and outside the stadium.

Despite violence which also saw the stadium's windows smashed by fans, Senegal's football federation received no ban from either CAF or world governing body FIFA.

On Saturday, some Ivorian supporters made a perilous five-meter leap from the bleachers onto the running track around the pitch before joining players from both teams in the center circle as they all sheltered from the violence.

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After a 1-1 draw with Gabon in the first leg, Togo's fans were hopeful of reaching January's Africa Cup of Nations ahead of Sunday's second leg.
After a 1-1 draw with Gabon in the first leg, Togo's fans were hopeful of reaching January's Africa Cup of Nations ahead of Sunday's second leg.
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The second leg of the final round qualifier was suspended for 40 minutes before the referee decided to cancel the match.

Even though CAF had yet to confirm Ivory Coast's qualification for the 2013 Nations Cup, the Elephants were included in the tournament seedings by African football's ruling body on Monday.

The 2012 runners-up were placed in the highest ranked group of seeds, along with Ghana, host nation South Africa and reigning champions Zambia.

The 2013 finals take place between 19 January and 10 February.

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