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Grobbelaar's Return Ends in Near Riot

November 14, 1994|From Times Wire Services

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar made a tumultuous return to the playing field Sunday when he helped Zimbabwe defeat Zaire, 2-1, in an African Nations Cup qualifying match that ended with Zaire players attacking the referee.

Grobbelaar is under investigation in England after being accused by a tabloid of accepting bribes to throw matches in the Premier League. He has filed a libel suit against the newspaper.

Journalists who had been trailing him were kept at bay by baton-wielding riot police, who had to rescue referee Christian Chikuka of Zambia after he awarded Zimbabwe a penalty kick in the 89th minute that resulted in the winning goal.

After the game, Zaire players, incensed by the call, chased Chikuka. The Zimbabwean team, with Grobbelaar in the forefront, came to the referee's rescue and punches were thrown until police with dogs intervened. Some Zaire players were reportedly bitten by the dogs.

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