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CAF fines Aubameyang, Gambia FA and FKF for misconduct

By Shafic Kiyaga
Gabon captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang | Courtesy photo

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has slapped Gabon captain Pierre Emerick Aubameyang with a USD 10,000 fine for joking he had been held captive while in Gambia.

Aubameyang and his teammates spent the whole night on the floor upon arrival to Gambia for an Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier as officials argued about COVID-19 tests.  

The Arsenal and Gabon captain then joked about the incident on Twitter, tweeting; “Just want to know why Gambia took our passports for hours and they keep us at the airport, are we hostage or what?” with crying laughing face emoji.

He then added; “This will not demotivate us but people need to know and CAF need to take responsibility. (It’s) 2020 and we want Africa to grow but this is not how we will get there.”

The tweet was accompanied by pictures of Gabon players and officials sleeping on the floor before they were allowed entry. Gabon went on to lose the game 2-1.  

However, CAF’s disciplinary Committee has found Aubameyang’s comments to have tarnished the honour and image of the federation and subsequently fined him USD 10,000.

“Mr. Pierre Emerick Emiliano Francois Aubameyang has publicly published offensive and degrading material that undermines the honour and image of the Confederation of African Football.”

“The CAF Disciplinary Board decided to impose a fine of 10,000 USD for breach of the values of sportsmanship and integrity on the Gabonese Football Federation for the regrettable behaviour of the player,” a statement from CAF read.

CAF also went ahead to hold the Gambia FA accountable for their negligence and failure to comply with the integrity, sportsman values and rules of fair play.

Gambia was also fined USD 100,000 for the incident, half of which has been suspended for two years.

“The Gambian federation did not comply to the loyalty, integrity and sportsmanship values and rules of fair play concerning the reception of the Gabonese delegation,” CAF said.

Meanwhile, Kenya Football Federation (FKF) has been slapped with a USD 9000 (KSHS one million) fine after dignitaries Raila Odinga and Vice President William Ruto breached safety and security precautions during their AFCON qualifier against Comoros in Nairobi.

Odinga and Ruto both breached security lines and accessed the playing area (zone 1) together with their entourage during the game.

In its ruling, CAF said that the dignitaries were attached to heavy security and barged though the CAF stewards, which was contrary to safety protocols put in place ahead of the November qualifiers to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

The host nation or club is responsible for order and security inside and around the stadium during and after the game and is liable to disciplinary measures in case of any incidents according to CAF’s Disciplinary Code (Article 8).

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