Congolese referee fighting for life in ICU after severe assault by fans during a match in Kinshasa [VIDEO]

Congolese referee fighting for life in ICU after severe assault by fans during a match in Kinshasa [VIDEO]

Festus Chuma 15:04 - 08.06.2024

A referee in Kinshasa is in ICU after being attacked by fans during a Coupe du Congo match.

A DR Congo Football Federation (FECOFOOT) referee is currently battling for his life in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Kinshasa following a violent assault by football supporters.

The incident occurred during a tense Coupe du Congo match between OC Renaissance and FC Tanganyika at Stade Tata Raphael.

The match, which concluded in a 1-1 draw, escalated to direct penalties, leading to a 3-0 victory for FC Tanganyika.

However, the end of the match saw fans overwhelm the security measures in place, attacking the referee with kicks, blows, and plastic chairs.

The chaotic scene unfolded despite the presence of police, who struggled to control the enraged crowd.

The game had earlier seen a mix of emotions with FC Tanganyika taking the lead in the 18th minute through Nday Henock.

The equilibrium was restored shortly after halftime by OC Renaissance's Okito Kazadi.

Despite interruptions caused by disturbances from the supporters, both teams showed commendable determination, with Tanganyika's goalkeeper Umba Mossi notably excelling during the penalty shootout.

Mossi made crucial saves, including two shots that deflected on the post bars, although the first attempt soared over the crossbar.

Following the final whistle, the violence escalated when the referee was targeted and subsequently collapsed in the changing room.

Disturbing footage circulating on social media captured the referee's dire condition before he was rushed to the hospital.

This incident casts a shadow over what was otherwise a significant triumph for FC Tanganyika, as the victory secured them a place in the semi-finals of the tournament.

They are set to face the winner of the match between OC Bukavu Dawa and Celeste FC, scheduled for Saturday, June 8.

The assault has sparked widespread condemnation and raised serious concerns about the safety protocols at sporting events in the region.

The football community and authorities are now calling for stringent measures to ensure the safety of officials and players alike, to prevent such incidents in the future.

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