Senegalese riots after team exits World Cup
DAKAR, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Angry Senegalese fans attacked the country's soccer federation headquarters on Saturday, smashing windows, after the national team was eliminated from qualifying for the 2010 World Cup by drawing 1-1 with Gambia.
After the draw, which also eliminated the Teranga Lions from the next African Nations Cup, furious supporters set up burning barricades around the stadium and clashed with riot police who fired tear gas and charged them with batons.
At least one person was injured, witnesses said.
Senegal finished third in Group Six of the African zone second round and failed to progress to round three.
The rioters stoned the Senegalese Football Federation building and also torched a bus outside, Col. Abdoulaye Fall of the local gendarmerie said.
Senegal, who reached the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup, took the lead in the second half of their qualifying match against West African neighbours Gambia with a goal by Abdou Kader Mangane, which set off celebrations in the home crowd.
But the mood turned ugly when Gambia's Scorpions equalised through Tijan Jaiteh five minutes from the end.
Fans started tearing down publicity billboards and fencing and threw stones, sticks, bottles, metal bars and debris onto the pitch. Baton-wielding police tried to restore order.
The Senegalese supporters then blocked a major highway outside the stadium with burning tyres, rubbish and rocks, and black smoke filled the sky.
"Senegal is eliminated, they played a zero game, we're tired of it," said one disappointed fan, Alassane Ndiata, 18.
Senegal also failed to reach the finals of the 2006 World Cup, a disappointment which triggered intense criticism of the players and the federation.