Match officials not given enough protection
In an incident which highlighted how match officials are not given enough protection, Botswana referee Joshua Bondo was attacked by angry MC Alger players after they were knocked out by Wydad Casablanca in the quaterfinals of the CAF Champions League. MC Alger lost the game 1-0 after a 92nd minute goal from Walid El Karti which confirmed an overall 2-1 aggregate score for the club.
MC Alger players reportedly thought Bondo allowed Wydad players’ celebration to carry on for too long while additional seconds were not added for the delay. The MC Alger players charged towards Bondo at the final whistle to display their annoyance, some even went to the extent of attempting to shove him.
FIFA laws dictate that confrontational contact with match officials should be punished by brandishing yellow cards and even red cards even after the game has ended. The players at fault are usually set to face retrospective action in the form of a ban and that remains to be seen in this case.
Bondo brandished two red cards to MC Alger players including goalkeeper Ahmed Boutagga and attacking midfielder Abdenour Belkheir as they were the instigators of the scuffle and the most aggressive of the MC Alger players.
The incident raised questions about the security detail at the stadium as well as how match officials are not given proper protection after games. In other leagues around the world security guards (also known as stewards in other countries) usually surround the match officials to provide a barrier which prevents access to match officials whenever they have drawn the ire of players or coaches.
Referees are normally escorted to their change rooms to prevent them from potential harm. Bondo is no stranger to such confrontational situations as he was once confronted by angry Mochudi Centre Chiefs players after a heated Mascom Top 8 encounter against Township Rollers at UB Stadium in 2013.