DR Congo FA FECOFA has relegated National Football League (Linafoot) side FC Renaissance two rounds to the end of the 2016/17 season over hooliganism.
Hooligans linked with the Kinshasa based club wreaked havoc after going down 2-1 away to AS Vita Club in the Linafoot play-offs at the Martyrs Stadium 22nd June.
“Hard blow for the Oranges in Kinshasa. The Renaissance FC are relegated to the second division,” the club confirmed on their twitter handle.
FECOFA has also been fined Renaissance $20,000; they also forfeit the match on 3-0 score. Vita on the other hand landed $5,000 fine for use of flares by their fans.
Renaissance were the first to score in the tie in the first minute through Lamine Diawara, however, a brace from Tady Agiti Etekiama in the 14th and 89th minutes secured the victory for the coach Florent Ibenge’s charges.
According to Linafoot.com, after the final whistle, the center referee Kabanga Malala and his assistants had to flee for their lives from charged hooligans, who were baying for their blood.
A section of the goons descended on the seats at the stadium plucking and using them as missiles, windows of the stadium’s offices were also smashed, including those of the Ministry for Sports.
It took the intervention of the security officials to restore order. This came at a price as the teargas they lobbed to disperse the unruly fans chocked two AS Vita players, Bangala Litombo and Ondo Francisco, who had to receive first aid.
80,000 sitter capacity Martyrs Stadium located in the Lingwala town in the capital Kinshasa hosts national team “the Leopards” and is regarded as the temple of DRC football.
The win was crucial for Vita who are chasing TP Mazembe for the league title. They are currently placed third in the 8-team play-offs standings on 24 points three off Mazembe, who have played a game more.
At the time of their relegation Renaissance were fourth in the log standings with fifteen points.
Renaissance was formed in 2015 and have been playing in the Linafoot – Zone Ouest. In 2016 their lifted their first major trophy when they won the DR Congo Cup.