Tunisian skipper Issam Jemaa (Top) heads the ball during a training session in Bongoville on Friday.

BONGOVILLE – Tunisia’s players hope to wear black armbands in their African Cup of Nations quarterfinal as a sign of respect for the more than 70 people who died at a league game in Egypt this week.

Tunisian Football Federation president Anouar Haddad said on Friday his body had asked for permission from tournament organizers the Confederation of African Football to wear the armbands against Ghana at Stade de Franceville on Sunday.

It was a sign of Tunisia’s “brotherly” ties with Egypt, Haddad said.

Tunisia is the only North African team left at the Cup of Nations after Morocco and Libya were eliminated in the group stage. Egypt, which was the three-time defending champion, didn’t qualify for this year’s tournament.

“I want to say something. For us, Egypt and Tunisia are two brotherly countries,” Haddad said at Tunisia’s team base in Bongoville, near Franceville, in Gabon.

“We had the same difficulties but unfortunately what has happened the day before yesterday with the victims, the 74 victims that have died, it is not normal.

“We Tunisians have solidarity with the Egyptian people. We ask CAF to allow us to play with the black armbands against Ghana as a sign of respect for the people who died.”

More than 70 people died in the clashes on Wednesday in Egypt’s Mediterranean city of Port Said when supporters rushed onto the field soon after a game between home team Al-Masry and Al-Ahly. It was Egypt’s and one of Africa’s worst incidents of football-related violence.

Afcon Quarterfinals
Playing today
Gabon     vs     Mali     17:00 SS4, 9
Ghana     vs     Tunisia    20:30 SS4, 9

By Agencies

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