Fan death, crowd trouble mar CAF CL games in Morocco and Tunisia

Moroccan authorities open investigation as fan dies in crush outside stadium before Raja Casablanca vs Al Ahly match.

Raja Casablanca supporters burn flares during a friendly match between Roma and Raja Casablanca
Raja Casablanca failed to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg against Egypt's Al Ahly in their CAF Champions League game on Saturday, April 29 [File: Andrew Medichini/AP Photo]

Casablanca authorities have opened an investigation after a fan died outside the gates of the Stade Mohammed V before Raja Casablanca’s football match against Al Ahly in the CAF Champions League quarterfinals.

Moroccan media reported that the fan, a 29-year-old woman, died in the crush on Saturday as thousands of fans tried to get into the stadium to watch Raja try to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg in Egypt.

“Aziz El Badrawy, President of Al-Raja Club Athletic, in his name and on behalf of all members of the club, extends his deepest condolences to the family of the fan, Noura, who passed away before our team’s match against Al-Ahly,” the Moroccan club said in a statement.

Meanwhile, another CAF Champions League quarterfinal between Esperance and Algeria’s JS Kabylie in Tunis on Saturday was marred by crowd trouble, which caused a 40-minute delay to the second half.

Esperance fans clashed with Tunisian security forces and lit fireworks on the terraces at halftime of the tie at Rades Stadium. Firefighters had to be called out to extinguish several small fires in front of the stands.

Algerian fans also complained that they had been subjected to unjustified attacks by security forces.

The match ended in a 1-1, draw but Esperance progressed to the semifinals with a 2-1 aggregate after a 1-0 victory in the first leg.

They will face Al Ahly over two legs for a place in the final after the Cairo club held Raja to a 0-0 draw in Casablanca.

Raja’s city rivals Wydad, the reigning champions, will face South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns in the other semifinal next month.

Source: Reuters