Esperance vow to clamp down on rioters
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CAIRO: Esperance vowed to clamp down on rioters after some of their fans caused unrest in the team’s 2-1 African Champions League clash defeat by Ahly last week.

Fourteen Esperance supporters were detained after crowd trouble marred the first leg of the Champions League semi final at Cairo Stadium.

They were released by the general prosecutor on Saturday, few hours after a meeting between Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and his Tunisian counterpart Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on the eve of the extraordinary Arab summit in Libyan city Sirt.

Esperance chairman Hamdi Meddeb expressed gratitude to the Egyptian authorities and insisted his side would do their utmost to end any violence-related problems.

"The initiative of president Ben Ali and Mr. Mubarak burdens us with the responsibility of tackling football violence once and for all," Meddeb was quoted as saying by Tunisian paper Assabah.

"There should not be any room for violence, not just in the coming game against Ahly (in the semi final second leg) but in all games from now on."
The visiting fans ripped up seats and let off illegal fireworks after right-back Ahmed Fathi gave Ahly a 2-0 lead in the second half.

TV cameras also caught them beating up two stewards, who were subsequently taken to hospital for treatment, to spark outrage in Egypt.

The Tunisian Football Federation and the country’s ambassador to Egypt apologized for the unfortunate incidents.

Ahly, who said they would not file a complaint against Esperance, called on the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to start a crackdown on the culprits.

The African governing body revealed that its disciplinary committee will investigate the troubles which blemished an otherwise exciting clash at the 74,100-seat Cairo Stadium.

The second leg will take place in Tunisia at El Menzah Stadium on October 17.



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