Renard warned over Nelspruit pitch comments

Zambia coach Herve Renard has been warned and his federation handed a suspended $10,000 fine by African football's governing body for disparaging comments made about the Nelspruit pitch during the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Confederaton of African Football (CAF) took issue with Renard's criticism of the Mbombela Stadium pitch, which had to be covered in sand after being ravaged by a fungus following heavy rain a week before the finals leaving it boggy in patches and bone hard elsewhere.

"The organising committee accepted an apology from the coach. However, to ensure non-repetition of such behaviour that tarnishes the image of CAF and its officials, the committee decided to issue a warning to Mr. Renard and fine Zambia," a CAF statement said.

Reigning champions Zambia, who played all their group games at the Mbombela Stadium, suffered the ignominy of being the first African Nations Cup holders to go out in the first round in defence of their title since Algeria in 1992.

The pitch in Nelspruit has been the subject of much controversy over the last few weeks and Renard is not the only coach to have criticised its condition.