Two Tunisian photojournalists have been suspended by Caf for three years after they were found guilty on Thursday of violating stipulated regulations of their accreditations to cover the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

Mehrez Toujan with accreditation No. 0004402963 and Edine Manoubi Hassen, whose No. of accreditation is: 0004402961 penetrated the pitch to take photographs of players during the Morocco-Tunisia clash on Monday. Caf said the two men beat security operatives at the Amitie Stadium in Libreville to carry out media activities in a prohibited zone.

Their accreditation cards have been withdrawn which means they can no longer cover the tournament, and will not be granted any permit by Caf for three years.

About 40 international journalists have signed a petition to protest Caf’s decision.

“We accept that the two photographers committed the fault. They went closer into the field to get a close up of messages written on the under shirts of two Tunisian players who were celebrating the team’s second goal against Morocco,” Chdiri Tarek, a reporter for Assarih, a Tunis-based Arabic sports daily, who is coordinating the petition, told Supersport.com.

“We are protesting because the sanction is too severe. It is a first-time offence and CAF ought to review their ruling.” Tunisia will play Niger later on Friday in Group C second games.