Referee suspended and claims of match fixing after fans riot in Tunisia derby match

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Tunisian policemen stand guard as fans throw flares during the Tunisia Ligue 1 football match derby between Esperance Sportive de Tunis and Club Africain at the Stade Olympique of Rades in Tunis (AFP)
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Tunisia's Club Africain fans cheer during the Tunisia Ligue 1 football match derby between Esperance Sportive de Tunis and Club Africain at the Stade Olympique of Rades in Tunis (AFP)
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A Tunisian policeman removes a flare from the pitch at the end of the Tunisia Ligue 1 football match derby between Esperance Sportive de Tunis and Club Africain at the Stade Olympique of Rades in Tunis (AFP)
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Tunisia's Club Africain fans light flares and cheer during the Tunisia Ligue 1 football match derby between Esperance Sportive de Tunis and Club Africain at the Stade Olympique of Rades in Tunis (AFP)
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A policeman walks past rubbish on the ground following the Tunisia Ligue 1 football match derby between Esperance Sportive de Tunis and Club Africain at the Stade Olympique of Rades in Tunis (AFP)
Updated 18 February 2018
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Referee suspended and claims of match fixing after fans riot in Tunisia derby match

TUNIS: After a riot sparked by a contested penalty and a flurry of red cards left 19 police officers hospitalized, Etoile Sahel said Sunday they were ready to go to court over their 3-2 defeat by bitter rivals Esperance.
Thirty-eight police officers were injured when they were pelted by smoke bombs, stones, chairs and pieces of metal at Thursday’s Tunisian league match in Rades, on the outskirts of Tunis.
The local football authorities also suspended the match referee Karim Khemiri until the end of the season, citing serious mistakes.
Etoile said on their website they “suspect match fixing in the match against Esperance,” and will be handing a dossier of information to government officials.
The penalty award came late in the second half with Etoile leading 2-1 and there were three red cards in the final 10 minutes.
Esperance will play their next three games behind closed doors after dangerous levels of smoke bombs and running battles on the terraces saw the match twice interrupted.
After this weekend’s games Esperance lead the Tunisian league on 44 points with Etoile in third on 36.
The visitors have been ordered to pay compensation for damage caused to the stadium, a venue often used to stage national team matches.
Football in Tunisia is regularly plagued by violence especially when the country’s top clubs clash.
In recent years, violence has escalated so much that sports minister Majdouline Cherni described the outbreaks as “stadium terrorism.”


Virgil van Dijk sets sights on an awesome foursome of trophies for Liverpool

Updated 20 September 2018
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Virgil van Dijk sets sights on an awesome foursome of trophies for Liverpool

LIVERPOOL: Virgil van Dijk wants to create history with Liverpool this season as he set his sights on an unprecedented quadruple of trophies.
The Anfield outfit are full of confidence after recording six successive wins at the start of a season for the first time since 1961.
Having reached the Champions League final in the previous campaign, they opened up this one with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Paris Saint-Germain thanks to an injury-time strike from Roberto Firmino after the French champions had pulled back a two-goal deficit.
While pundits have suggested Liverpool should prioritize the Premier League, van Dijk said they have the belief to do even better.
“Everyone is excited, feeling good, wanted to be part of this,” he said. “We know the season is very long, four competitions to play and we want to win everything. That’s basically our mindset. You need to have ambitions.
“With the size of this club, the people around here and with the history, we want to try to win everything. It’s going to be hard, we know it’s something very difficult to do, but we are going to try. That’s what we are here for.
“I’ve enjoyed every bit since I arrived here and hope to keep going. I want to win things, create memories here and write history as well with all of these boys.”
The Dutch defender also feels rivals will see Liverpool as contenders for the big prizes having overcome Neymar and Co.
“We were not in the [Champions League] final last season for no reason,” he added. “I think we should have already got the respect, but this season is new.
“Everyone starts over and we need to show it in every game. We need to keep going, keep improving, but also enjoy it. It’s the highest stage.
“If you are going to be on the pitch and you don’t believe it [that you can beat teams like this] then you need to stay home. You need to believe in your team. I have the belief. I’m enjoying it. You want to play in these games, you want to play these clubs. I think it’s a great time to be a Liverpool player.
“If you look at the team, the whole squad, players who are not even in there and have so much potential, so much quality, it says a lot about our team.”