South African Premiership side Orlando Pirates will compete in the group stage of the African Champions League next month, after defeating Congolese side TP Mazembe in the second round of the competition by an aggregate score of 3-2 over two controversy-strewn legs.
After the first leg in Johannesburg on April 20th, a visiting TP Mazembe fan was miffed enough about his side's 3-1 loss to approach the referee and 'assault' him. The fan was then able to evade capture after hiding in Mazembe's dressing room with the players.
The Congo champs have now been handed a $5,000 fine by CAF for harboring a football fugitive. The Times Colonist reports:
[The South African Football Association] said the supporter, described as a Congolese living in South Africa, assaulted the referee after the African Champions League game against Orlando Pirates in Johannesburg on April 20, then "took refuge" in Mazembe's dressing room.
The supporter "approached and assaulted the referee soon after the match and hid in the travelling side's dressing room," SAFA said, adding witnesses saw the attack.
The return leg was also a tense affair, with Pirates players and officials claiming they were threatened and intimidated throughout their trip to Lubumbashi. The South African Football Association also complained after traveling journalists were locked in a room and ordered not to report on the game. The network that held the rights to show the match in South Africa, meanwhile, was unable to broadcast anything as their crew was arrested and had the SIM cards removed from their phones.
The biggest injustice from the two legs, however, is the fact that Mazembe goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba didn't bust out a butt shuffle...