Two players for the Algerian side, MC Alger, have been slapped with a 12-month ban each for attacking Botswana referee Joshua ‘Sprinter’ Bondo during a CAF Champions League match played last month.
The club was also handed a $25,000 (approximately P264, 800) fine for the brawl during the Champions League quarter-final encounter against Wydad Casablanca of Morocco.
The duo of Abdelnour Belkheir and Ahmed Boutagga were captured on video assaulting the top local referee by kicking him in the leg after he had blown the final whistle for fulltime. The pair accused Bondo of allowing their opponents to over celebrate a goal that took them into semifinal of the competition. “The CAF DC (Disciplinary Committee) ruled: to suspend Abdelnour Belkheir and Ahmed Boutagga for a period on 12 months,” CAF said in a statement.
“The two players are suspended for, taking part in all competitions organised by CAD, in particular inter-club competitions as well as competitions with national teams/ to impose a fine of $25,000 on MC Alger for unseemly and regrettable conduct against the referee of the match in question,” it added.
Bondo is not new to controversy. In March 2017, he appeared to head-butt Angolan player, Paulo Natael in a friendly match against South Africa.
The ‘Sprinter’ however did not receive any sanction for the incident of the match played at East London, South Africa.
The 43-year-old, later that year in June was labelled by Zimbabwean media as ‘Referee from hell’ as he was accused of failing to award ‘clear cut’ penalties in a COSAFA Cup tie between Zimbabwe and Seychelles.
Still in 2017, Bondo received yet more abuse from Zambian fans after he disallowed the team’s equaliser for an offside against Nigeria in an AFCON qualifier played that October.
Locally, Bondo was in the centre of a ‘fight’ that involved then Mochudi Centre Chiefs players, Pontsho Moloi and Michael Mogaladi.
The duo was said to have punched the whistle man in the dressing room after he gave Moloi an early shower for dissent in a Premiership encounter played at the national stadium.
The incident was reported to the Gaborone Central Police Station.