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BBC Sport's Karen Barber
"El Quaer is said to have wanted the game abandoned"
 real 14k

Saturday, 10 February, 2001, 21:22 GMT
Caf suspends Tunisian goalkeeper
Caf Secretary-General Mustapha Fahmy
The decisions were announced by Caf Sec-Gen M Fahmy
Tunisian goalkeeper, Chokri El Ouaer has been suspended for a year by Africa's football governing body, Caf, for trying to sabotage last December's second-leg final of the Champions League between Hearts of Oak of Ghana and Esperance Sportive of Tunisia.

The ban affects the player only at club level and he will be free to play for the national team in the World Cup and Nations Cup qualifiers.

Many observers believed a total life ban was hanging on the veteran keeper, but it appears Caf chose not to put an end to his career.

Chokri El Ouaer of Tunisia
The Tunisian goalkeeper is alleged to have tried to sabotage the match by injuring himself
El Ouaer was reported to have inflicted an injury on himself in a desperate attempt to give his side, Esperance of Tunis technical advantage during final in Accra on December 17.

Esperance have been given up to February 20 to find a replacement for El Ouaer for this year's Champions League.

The Tunisian side will open their campaign against Jeunesse Sportive Tenere of Niger next month.

Caf has also banned the African champions, Ghana's Hearts of Oak from playing on their home ground - the Accra Sports Stadium - for a year, as a result of the incidents during the Champions League final.

Tunisian protest

Match officials at the game in Accra stated in their report that El Ouaer was seen using a sharp object to cut his face after police had fired tear-gas into a section of the crowd, who were throwing missiles at the Hearts of Oak bench.

Hearts of Oak fans
Hearts of Oak fans threw missiles at their own bench
Tunisian officials protested that El Ouaer was hit by one of the missiles and the club asked Caf to order a replay at a neutral because their players were unsecured during the crowd trouble.

The president of Caf, Issa Hayatou and Ghana's former vice-president, Professor John Atta Mills had to dive for cover away from the VIP stand after the tear gas was fired.

Esperance were leading Hearts 1-0 when play was held up for almost 20 minutes.

But after South African referee, Robin Williams resumed the match, Hearts went on to win 3-1.

Chokri El Ouaer has played in four Nations Cup finals and led Esperance to a hat-trick of African club titles.

He also helped Esperance to win the Super Cup trophy in 1995.

He captained Tunisia captained to the World Cup finals in France, in 1998.

Has Caf gone too far, or not far enough, in the battle against football violence? Caf clampdown
Have Africa's football bosses got it right?
See also:

10 Feb 01 |  Africa
Caf holds important meeting
08 Feb 01 |  Africa
Tunisian keeper faces ban
07 Feb 01 |  Africa
Hearts ranked top African club
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