(Reuters) - Cape Verde’s soccer championship has been thrown into confusion after a semi-final first leg tie was postponed because the stadium keys could not be found, leaving players, officials and fans locked outside.
The country’s football federation (FCF) has suspended the stadium but ordered Sunday’s return match between Mindelense and Ultramarina to go ahead - even though the first leg has still to be played.
Ultramarina should have hosted the first leg on Tuesday but nobody could get into the Orlando Rodrigues stadium, located in Tarrafal on the island of Sao Nicolau, because the municipal government employee who has the keys did not show up, the FCF said.
Players and officials waited outside the ground for two hours but “despite every effort being made, the employee could not be located to open the stadium,” the FCF said in a statement on its Facebook page.
However, the Tarrafal municipal government, which owns the stadium, said that “the keys did not disappear” and blamed the FCF for not informing it of the fixture, according to local website Mindelinsite.cv
The FCF has also opened disciplinary proceedings against Ultramarina, who have never won the title, with sanctions ranging from a simple warning to disqualification or even relegation.
The match had already been postponed twice because Mindelense had problems travelling to the island. Mindelense are the country’s most successful team with 12 titles.
Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar