Mali seeks venue outside Algeria for African Cup
Bamako, Mali • Mali is seeking to move its African Cup of Nations qualifier out of Algeria over fears of violence after a player was killed in a stadium last week, the spokesman for the country’s football federation said Wednesday.
Manfa Keita said the body asked the African Football Confederation to move the Sept. 9 qualifier to a neutral destination after Algerian fans threw stones at a losing team last week, killing a Cameroonian player.
"Algeria had a remarkable performance at the last World Cup and we are afraid that if its players don’t do as well against us, the Algerian fans will attack our players," he told The Associated Press.
Games have been suspended in Algeria for the next month and the stadium where the incident took place has been closed until new measures to protect players can be put in place.
The death of Albert Ebosse, 24, has shocked Algeria and highlighted the increased fan violence in this oil and gas rich North African nation.
In 2012, it was Algeria that asked for, and received, a change of venue for a World Cup qualifying match to be held in Mali, citing the violence in the far north of the country.