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Cameroonian Player Dies in Algeria After Being Hit by Object From Crowd

Cameroonian Player Dies in Algeria After Being Hit by Object From Crowd

Caf president Hayatou demands tough sanctions


CAIRO, Egypt — A Cameroonian footballer, Albert Ebosse, has died after being hit in the head by an object thrown from the crowd at a top-flight league game in Algeria.

Issa Hayatou says African football "cannot be the breeding ground for hooliganism"

The Confederation of African Football said Cameroonian striker Albert Ebosse died in hospital Saturday night after he was struck at the match between JS Kabylie and USM Alger in the northern city of Tizi Ouzou.  Ebosse, who was 24, was declared dead after being taken to hospital in Tizi Ouzou, east of the capital Algiers.


The JS Kabylie striker, who had scored in a 2-1 home defeat by USM Alger, was hit when fans started throwing objects from the stands as the teams returned to their changing rooms after the game.  The Algerian interior ministry has ordered an investigation.


Ebosse was the leading scorer in the Algerian league in the 2013-14 season, with 17 goals.  It has not been confirmed what hit Ebosse, but one Algerian paper said that home fans, angry at their team's defeat, were throwing rocks.


A statement from Ebosse's club said he had "succumbed to a head injury" after being struck at the end of the match.  Opponents USM Alger described the news of Ebosse's death as a "bombshell" and said it was "terrible" and "saddening".


Ebosse's club JS Kabylie said the 24-year-old forward suffered the head injury when he was hit at the end of the game. He had scored in the 2-1 home loss and was the leading scorer in the Algerian league last season.


Kabylie said a police investigation would be opened. CAF President Issa Hayatou said Africa's top football body expects "exemplary sanctions to be taken against this grave act of violence."


It added: "In these painful circumstances, USM Alger and its members send their deepest condolences to the family of the deceased and to JS Kabylie. May Albert Ebosse rest in peace."  A special meeting of the Algerian league (LFP) has been convened for Monday morning and the stadium has been closed until further notice.


The league's president, Mahfoud Kerbadj, was at the game. He described Ebosse's death as a catastrophe for the national game and sent his heartfelt condolences to the player's family. Kerbadj added that Ebosse had won the hearts of thousands of Algerians and was highly regarded by both team-mates and opponents.


The president of the Confederation of African Football, Issa Hayatou, issued a statement condemning the violence.


"My thoughts go out to the family and friends of this young man who enjoyed his job peacefully and went further to pursue his passion for football abroad," added Hayatou in a statement on Sunday.


"Violence has no place in African football in particular and sports in general.  We remain resolute and state in the strongest terms our determination to eradicate all forms of violence and unsportsmanlike conduct in stadiums on the continent."

"African football cannot be the breeding ground for hooliganism whatsoever. We expect exemplary sanctions to be taken against this grave act of violence."