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By ESPN Staff

Referee attacked in African Confederation Cup

SOUSSE, Tunisia, Dec 2 (Reuters) - South African referee David Bennett was attacked after Royal Armed Forces of Morocco were denied a stoppage time goal in the African Confederation Cup second leg against Etoile Sahel of Tunisia on Saturday.

Etoile Sahel, runners-up in the African Champions League in 2004 and 2005, won on away goals after drawing the first leg 1-1 in Rabat last month.

Bennett and his linesman Toko Malebo were attacked by the furious visitors after a close-in effort from Brahim El Bahri was disallowed for offside.

Several Royal Armed Forces players rushed at Malebo as he flagged the goal offside, pushing and shoving him before security officials came to his rescue.

Fighting erupted between both benches and policemen on the side of the pitch before Bennett was also set upon by the Moroccan team.

Security was quickly resorted as a cordon was created around the officials but the game stopped for five minutes before calm was restored.

During that time Royal Armed Forces players continued their protestations at the officials and one was kicked by a security official.

Television replays showed the decision of the lineman was correct.

The game restarted for just 60 seconds before Bennett blew the final whistle and was quickly surrounded by security officials as the Moroccans sought to set upon him again.

In the first half, Moroccan international goalkeeper Tarek Jarmouni made two fine stops to keep out the home side while Royal Armed Forces' midfielder Jaouad Ouaddouch squandered a good chance for his side midway through the second half.

Had Royal Armed Forces snatched a late win it would have mirrored the dramatic finish of the African Champions League final in Tunisia last month.

Home side CS Sfaxien, who also drew 1-1 away in the first leg of their final, conceded an injury time goal to Egypt's Al Ahli to have success snatched from their grasp in the final minute of the game at Rades on Nov. 11.

Etoile Sahel's win on Saturday added to previous success in the African Cup Winners' Cup in 1997 and 2003 and the Confederation of African Football Cup in 1995 and 1999.

The two tournaments were combined three years ago into the new Confederation Cup. Etoile are the third winners of the new trophy after Hearts of Oak of Ghana in 2004 and Royal Armed Forces last year.