Kanoute demands action
Mali striker Frederic Kanoute wants Fifa to act after the violent scenes at the end of Mali's clash with Togo.
By Andrew Spencer
Last Updated: 18/10/07 10:12am
Mali striker Frederic Kanoute wants a tough stance from Fifa following the violent incidents that broke out at the end of the African Nations Cup qualifier between Mali and Togo in Lome last week.
Players and fans were attacked when fighting broke out at the final whistle after Mali had won the match 2-0 to qualify for the finals in January.
According to Mali officials, Sevilla striker Kanoute needed stitches for a cut on his back and Stoke City's Mamady Sidibe was cut on the arm by a spectator.
Kanoute said: "People came on to the pitch. It went from bad to worse and we had to go to the dressing room but we didn't know where to go because we were in the middle of the pitch.
"The people started hitting us. It is the worse experience I have had. It was very, very serious and the Malians in the stands suffered even more."
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) is to discuss the incidents and Kanoute believes punishment must be handed out.
He said: "It is a job for Fifa. I am sure they are going to do something, we have to do something. If it had happened in Mali I would have said the same. It can't be allowed to happen, there has to be a punishment."
Mali football president Salif Keita confirmed that 15 supporters were injured after being attacked at the end of the match and reports in Togo said several were taken to hospital in Lome.
Kanoute was keen to stress that there are still problems in the stands that need to be addressed in Europe.
He said: "You can't only talk about savages in Africa. Remember what happened in Seville last year (when Sevilla coach Juande Ramos was knocked unconscious by a bottle thrown from the stands during a match).
"It is the same in Europe. Perhaps the police are better organised and the fans can't get on the pitch but it could happen here as well."