FIFA to investigate rioting at Mali-Togo World Cup qualifier

ZURICH, Switzerland -- FIFA announced Tuesday that it will investigate violence by fans that caused a World Cup qualifier between Mali and Togo to be halted.

Togo scored what appeared to be a game-winning goal in injury time, prompting dozens of home fans in Mali's capital Bamako to invade the field.

Police fired tear gas and the game in the sold-out 70,000-seat stadium was suspended with Togo leading 2-1.

The African Soccer Confederation awarded the match to Togo, but FIFA must confirm the decision. If the result stands, Mali will not qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

``FIFA has received a formal report from match officials on site and will open a disciplinary case to fully investigate and review the incidents at the stadium,'' FIFA spokesman John Schumacher said.

The Mali government hasn't provided FIFA any formal documents yet, Schumacher added.

Rioting spread from the stadium to central Bamako, with thousands descending on the capital's main African Unity Avenue and threatening Mali's top soccer players.

Dozens of people were hurt in the riot, including some police officers, Interior Minister Colonel Sadio Gassama said.

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