MALABO, Equatorial Guinea (AP) — Police used tear gas to disperse angry fans during an African Cup semifinal on Thursday.
With Ghana leading host Equatorial Guinea 3-0, unruly fans forced Gabonese referee Eric Otogo-Castane to halt the match with about 10 minutes to go. The match resumed after about 40 minutes.
The fans first became incensed after Ghana scored two late goals in the first half, and riot police were called in to protect Ghana’s players and fans.
After Ghana scored a third goal in the second half and water bottles began to rain again, the match was halted in the 82nd minute as the team’s fans were escorted out of the stadium for their own safety.
Policemen evacuate a tribune during the 2015 African Cup of Nations semi-final football match between Equatorial Guinea and Ghana in Malabo, on February 5, 2015.
It took about 30 minutes for the Ghana fans to finally be cleared.
During the stoppage, one fan ran onto the field and confronted one of the linesmen, but he was quickly taken away by security.
A police helicopter appeared over the stadium several times, flying perilously close to fans in one end of the stadium. The wind from the propellers caused debris to fly up from the emptying seats.
Riot police later entered another section and cleared the area of fans, whacking their shields with their batons to scare spectators.
A police helicopter flies over the stadium during an interruption of the 2015 African Cup of Nations semi-final football match between Equatorial Guinea and Ghana in Malabo, on February 5, 2015.
The Ghana players remained in the middle of the field until the restart, while many from the Equatorial Guinea squad tried to calm the angry fans.
Ghana’s goals were scored by Jordan Ayew, Wakaso Mubarak and Andre Ayew.