AFCON carnage as shocking 30-man brawl on the pitch continues down the tunnel

A brawl erupted at the end of Morocco and DR Congo’s AFCON match on Sunday with the Atlas Lions’ manager at the centre of a ferocious clash which continued down the tunnel.

The 30-man brawl was sparked by DR Congo captain Chancel Mbemba arguing with Morocco manager Walid Regragui

Shocking scenes unfolded at the final whistle of Morocco’s 1-1 Africa Cup of Nations draw with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Achraf Hakimi’s sublime sixth minute volley was cancelled out by super-sub Silas Katompa Mvumpa firing in from a low cross in the 76th. But the result was overshadowed by a melee which broke out at full-time.

Tempers suddenly flared on the pitch between players and staff from both sides. And the brawl continued near the changing rooms as players rushed into the tunnel to get involved in the confrontation.

Congo captain Chancel Mbemba had already received a yellow card for arguing with the referee. The centre-back was then approached by Morocco manager Walid Regragui, who appeared to berate Mbemba about something.

Mbemba was left furious with Regragui’s comments as he yelled and pointed aggressively in his direction. Players from both sides rushed in, with some attempting to diffuse the situation while others began pushing and shoving.

Players and coaching staff ran onto the pitch to enter the fray

Players and coaching staff ran onto the pitch to enter the fray

And the wild scenes escalated further, with footage on social media showing Mbemba being escorted into the tunnel, before being chased by an angry Youssef En-Nesyri. Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou was seen pulling on En-Nesyri’s vest in an effort to prevent the striker from going after Mbemba.

Both security and the officials struggled to control the chaos as the rest of the two sides’ players also ran down the tunnel. It was reported after that the Confederation of African Football had opened an immediate investigation into the ugly display of violence.

Speaking after the game once tensions had cooled, Morocco boss Regragui commented: “I have nothing to say about that. I have a lot of respect for Mbemba. Maybe it was the adrenaline that made him respond like that. There’s no problem. I regret it because we did not give a good image, neither to us nor to the DRC”

Morocco missed the chance to secure a place in the knockout stage with a game to spare, with the draw taking them up to four points. But DR Congo will be ruing Cedric Bakambu’s missed penalty late in the first half, having dominated the second but only adding a single point to their tally (two points).



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