African soccer VP cleared of head-butting referee
CAIRO (AP) — The African soccer confederation on Tuesday cleared one of its vice presidents of head-butting a referee because of insufficient evidence.
The Confederation of African Football’s disciplinary committee said that VP Fouzi Lekjaa, who is also president of the Moroccan soccer association, was found not guilty of assaulting Ethiopian referee Bamlak Tessema Weyesa following the second leg of the CAF Confederation Cup final in May.
Moroccan club RS Berkane lost the final on penalties to Zamalek of Egypt after the two legs ended 1-1 on aggregate.
CAF’s disciplinary board ruled there was “insufficient solid and corroborated evidence” to prove Lekjaa’s guilt. The referee alleged in his match report that he was assaulted by Lekjaa after the game.
CAF did hand out a four-game ban and $10,000 fine to Berkane defender Omar Namsaoui, who was sent off for violent conduct and later confronted match officials during the trophy presentation. The club was also fined $30,000 for players and officials making “aggressive gestures” toward the match officials.
Both Berkane and Zamalek were fined a further $22,500 each for fans throwing water bottles and other objects during both legs of the final.