Togo African Cup Nations 2012

Police evacuate a section of fansGETTY

Chaos in the African Cup of Nations

Ghana were leading 3-0 in a tempestuous semi-final at the Nuevo Estadio de Malabo against the tournament hosts.

Ghana supporters, corralled into an enclosure to the side of the 15, 000-capacity stadium, spilt on to the playing area and amassed behind the goal as they fled a deluge of water bottles and cans.

A helicopter flew across the stadium in a bid to bring calm but Equatorial Guinea fans continued throwing objects on to the field. They had started in the first half after their side went behind to a controversial 42nd minute penalty.

Ghana players had to be protected by riot police using plastic shields as they left the field at the end of the first half and the second half was delayed by two minutes as home fans aimed plastic bottles and tin cans at Ghana’s bench.

The Confederation of African Football used the public address system to threaten to call off the game if the crowd at the Nuevo Estadio de Malabo did not stop pelting Ghana’s players.

But the second half was halted briefly, first, as a linesman had to flee infield to escape more missiles from the angry crowd and again eight minutes from time when Ghana supporters sought sanctuary on the field after coming under attack from locals.

GETTY

Police evacuate a section of fans at the top of one stand

African Cup of NationsThe players remained on the field with the referee as officials struggled to bring order.

Equatorial Guinea captain Emilio Nsue took to the microphone to appeal for calm as the delay continued past 10 minutes.

Plenty of fans left the stadium as the suspension dragged on without abandonment.

Ghana supporters appeared to be escorted away by police through the tunnel, with reports of Equatorial Guinea supporters waiting for them outside the stadium.

Equatorial Guinea only stepped in to host the tournament at the 11th hour after Morocco pulled out due to the Ebola epidemic.

Having never qualified for a World Cup, their only previous African Nations Cup campaign was in 2012 when they reached the quarter-finals.

They went one better than that by knocking Tunisia out in the last eight in the most dramatic of circumstances, but that achievement was soured by events at the end of their next match.

Despite reports of tear gas being fired into the stands to bring the situation under control, incredibly the match restarted after about a half-an-hour delay but the officials played just three minutes, with the Ghana progressing 3-0.

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