YAOUNDE - Cameroon security forces used
water cannons late on Saturday to disperse rioting football fans
angered by Cameroon's draw with Senegal that dimmed the team's
chances of qualifying for the 2012 African Nations Cup.
Cameroon captain Samuel Eto'o missed an 87th-minute penalty
that would have closed the gap on group leaders Senegal,
sparking off violence around the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium and
leading Eto'o to apologise publicly.
Witnesses said several people were injured in the fracas,
and that angry football fans smashed car windscreens and tore
T-shirts bearing Eto'o's name off the backs of people wearing
them. Security officials were not available to comment.
Late on Saturday, in a brief interview with state
television, the Inter Milan striker asked fans to forgive him.
"When I score goals often, you hoist me to the top, but
today I missed the penalty which would have given us victory and
I take full responsibility for this underperformance," he said.
"I know that the Cameroonian public wants us to win to make them
happy. But I missed the penalty and I ask forgiveness."
Saturday's draw raised the possibility that the four-time
African champions could fail to qualify for the 2012 African
Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon after eight
successive appearances in the finals.
Cameroon have five points from four qualifying matches,
leaving them five points behind group E leaders Senegal.
Rioting also broke out in a suburb of Senegal's capital
Dakar on Saturday after a power outage switched off televisions
and radios in mid-game. Police used tear gas to break up crowds
of rock-throwing fans.
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