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Page last updated at 16:05 GMT, Wednesday, 27 April 2011 17:05 UK

Fans excluded from Tunisian league games after violence

By Mourad Teyeb
BBC Sport, Tunis

Esperance in action
All Tunisian teams, like Esperance, will be affected by the ban

Fans have been banned from Tunisian league matches for the rest of the season after violence caused two games to be abandoned.

At the same time Tunisian referees have gone on strike, calling for greater security at grounds.

Two matches which had been scheduled for Wednesday were called off at the last minute because of the strike.

The referees will meet the Tunisian Football Federation on Thursday to try find a solution.

The matches which were abandoned featured Olympique Beja against AS Marsa on 17 April and Club Bizertiain versus CS Sfaxien last Sunday.

In both cases, home fans invaded the pitch after their opponents had scored.

At the game in Bizerte the stadium was badly damaged and television cameras were attacked by fans angry that CS Sfaxien had taken a 3-0 lead in the first 20 minutes of the game.

There were only around 30 police officers on duty for the match, which attracted an attendance of about 15,000 fans.

At the match in Beja there was a similar number of police officers, to control a crowd of around 5,000.

There are 10 rounds of matches remaining in the Tunisian league, which was suspended for some time during the country's political revolution.

The ban on fans will not apply to matches in the African Champions League or Confederation Cup.

Club African were recently fined US$10,000 by the Confederation of African Football following the violence which marred the home leg of their Champions League tie with Egypt's Zamalek.

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see also
Zamalek punished for fan violence
20 Apr 11 |  African
Tunisian league set to re-start
07 Apr 11 |  African
Tunisian league off again
08 Mar 11 |  African
Tunisian league set to resume
05 Mar 11 |  African
Football back for Tunisian fans
03 Mar 11 |  African

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