Equatorial Guinea football fans decided to take matters into their hands as they watched Ghana deprive their team of a place in Afcon Final on Sunday
Players on the pitch ducked bottles thrown from the stands, Ghana fans sought safety behind a goal, riot police used tear gas and a helicopter hovered over the stadium, according to a BBC report.
“It’s now like a war zone,” the Ghana Football Association (GFA) tweeted, claiming “barbaric acts of vandalism” and “unprovoked violent attacks” had taken place inside the stadium.
When play resumed, Ghana sealed a 3-0 win to reach Sunday’s final, where they will play Ivory Coast, who beat DR Congo 3-1 on Wednesday.
Trouble flared at half-time between Ghana and Equatorial Guinea.
Ghana players had to be protected by riot police using plastic shields as they left the field, already 2-0 up in the tie.
The second half was then halted eight minutes from time when Ghana supporters sought sanctuary on the field after coming under attack.
Confederation of African Football (Caf) officials had used the public address system to threaten to call off the game if the crowd did not stop pelting Ghana’s players.
Ghana FA president Kwesi Nyantakyi tried to play down events after the game, insisting: “I don’t think this is a fair commentary of Africa.
“This has been a very successful tournament and this isolated incident of violence will leave a slur on the reputation of African football.
“It is very unfortunate and it doesn’t deserve that.”
Nyantakyi added that he felt spectators were to blame.
“I think fans should allow the officials to control the game,” he said.
“They thought they were wrong and every decision they felt didn’t go their way was met with some opposition. I don’t think it is fair.”
BBC World Service’s Piers Edwards was with the visiting supporters as they left the stadium and said some were taken to hospital.
He also picked up several objects that ended up on the pitch, including a jagged piece of broken mirror, half a plate and a rock.
Play finally resumed after many fans had left the stadium, with both teams seeing out the final three minutes.