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Ethiopian league suspended after referee attacked by players

The Ethiopian Football Federation has suspended all league matches following an attack on a referee by players during a match.

The incident occurred during Monday's Premier League fixture between Defence Force SC and Welwalo Adigrat University.

With the scores tied at 1-1, Defence took a shot at goal which the keeper fumbled, but appeared to gather before it crossed the line.

However, the referee awarded the goal to the hosts, sparking angry protests from Welwalo. The incident culminated in the official, who had tried to protect himself with a corner flag, being chased around the field before being brought down by the visiting coach -- who has since been fired -- who then landed a punch on the stricken referee.

It is the latest violent incident in the Ethiopian Premier League, which brought about the suspension of games. The league's 16 teams will meet with the governing body later this week to discuss the way forward.

Violence towards referees is not a new phenomenon in Africa. Late last year nine players and two officials from Nigerian Premier Football League club FC Ifeanyi Ubah were handed bans in excess of a year for attacking match officials.

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