Host city counts losses in wake of riots after nations cup defeat
Residents of Malabo City woke up on Friday to the sight of destruction perpetrated by hundreds of youth who stormed the streets and destroyed property in the aftermath of the national team’s elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations.
Police officers and officials of the host city were on Friday assessing the damage caused by the hooligans, where billboards were pulled down, shops stoned and a majority of roads blocked.
Town cleaners had a busy day collecting broken beer bottles, smashed car windscreens, twigs and leaves strewn on the roads and in residential suburbs.
Anarchy had reigned in the city on Thursday night as police engaged in running battles with the youth who were ‘frustrated’ by their team’s 3-0 semi-final loss to Ghana and the lacklustre performance of their players.
“These players cannot just raise our expectation and then come here to play as poorly as this. We have to teach them a lesson,” one of the agitated supporters told Nairobi News.
Scores of fans were arrested during the riot although police has not confirmed the actual number. The police operation ran until around 4am, close to 11 hours after the match had ended.
Trouble started when the home team conceded the first goal through a Jordan Ayew penalty. The goal occasioned commotion on the main terrace where I was seated as fans started pelting water bottles and other missiles into the pitch.
At halftime, the situation worsened, with Ghanian players requiring police security to head into and out of the dressing room.
The disquiet unbearable moments after Ghana had scored the winning goal with just under ten minutes of the match remaining.
The fans pelted stones at the hundreds of Ghanians supporters seated in one of the terraces, forcing the latter to jump over the fence onto the pitch, a situation that caused a huge time stoppage.