Toon's African Players Return To Tyneside

15 October 2012 11:58
Newcastle United players involved in Saturday night's Africa Cup of Nations qualifier will return to Tyneside at the earliest suitable time.

Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse were both part of the Senegal team when their fans began to hurl rocks and start fires in the stands of Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor as Ivory Coast edged closer to knocking their opponents out of next year’s finals.

More than 30 people were injured in clashes which also took place outside the ground including Senegalese sports minister Hadji Malick Gakou. There were no reported deaths.

The problems escalated when flames started to appear above the players’ tunnel shortly after Didier Drogba slotted in the Elephants’ second goal from the penalty spot with 18 minutes remaining.

After that more and more small fires appeared around the stadium, as the travelling supporters tried everything to evade the stones being thrown in their direction that had been broken off the terraces.

While the trouble escalated in the stands, both teams had to wait in the centre circle and it was 25 minutes before they were ushered back in to the dressing rooms once three big, black cars were driven on to the pitch to help supporters flee.