Easy ways to lift your net profile

HAVING a website is good – but using it properly is better.

A strong brand and compelling content will attract users, but business owners need to seize social media to promote their brand on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus accounts. It won’t deliver a top ranking but will push branding and direct people to your site.

Know your site

Every web page should focus on one or two key words for search engine optimisation (SEO), reflected in content, metatags (within the page’s code), page title and URL. In other words, delete “home page” and add your business and key words for extra oomph.

Businesses can get a ready reckoner of key words in demand from Google’s AdWords (https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal) but should treat Google Analytics and Bing Webmast Tools as essential to dissect existing websites, their traffic and flaws.

SEO Maverick founder Andrew Webber says differentiating your products around key words can also expand your online catch.

“If you are a dentist, it might make sense to create a page about the different type of services you offer such as teeth whitening, Invisalign (teeth alignment) and emergency dentistry because it gives your website more opportunities to rank for the wide range of dental-related keywords in your local market,” he says.

People, not bots

Webpages need to attract users and not the bots that crawl and search those pages, says Dejan SEO founder Dan Petrovic.

“Users like your pages to be natural, and not repeating the same word 20 to 30 times on the same page,” he says.

If the page is authoritative and compelling, people will link to it and boost its ranking.

Posting with links back to your website will also drive traffic and improve a search engine’s opinion of your site, although if the same accounts are used to continually prop up the same pages, this will quickly turn sour, Petrovic says.

“Google is getting better and better understanding where sites are being manipulated,” he says.

Don’t forget to dig beneath the hood. Your site’s “robots. txt” file may still be set to hide your entire site or certain pages may be marked as “noindex” or “nofollow”.

Be local

Most businesses can’t compete with the whales of the industry.

First Click Consulting SEO director Mike Hudson compares a car sales yard failing to rank against the big industry names – but coming out on top for locality-based sales.

“It’s hard for the larger websites to compete if that’s the way you are going to go,” he says.

But Webber says a little homework can tip the balance. “Add your details to the main online business directories such as TrueLocal, Yellow Pages, HotFrog, Start Local and webfind.com.au,” he says.

“These are all data sources that Google uses to cross reference your details … by checking for a consistent name, address and phone number.”

Don’t cheat

Petrovic says changes to algorithms over the past year have penalised hidden text and link-buying schemes to improve long-term natural search results. “Shortcuts are short-term solutions – they’re not sustainable,” he says.

But he suggests turning to experts to really make things hum: “It’s like tax. You can do it, but you have to keep up to date. SEO changes every day.”

CLIMBING THE RANKS

* Use Google’s “Search Engine Optimisation Starter Guide”.

* Your URLs should be descriptive, with hyphens between the words, but not repetitive.

* Page titles should be about 70 characters long, meta-descriptions about 150 characters long.

* Use only one version of page names, especially if using subdomains. Use a “301 redirect” to avoid splitting your ranking.

* Websites that load slowly are penalised. Invest in good servers.

* Avoid links in Flash or Java – search engines can’t read them.

MOVE INTO EASY STREET

ZACHARY Rook’s company is growing on the back of one marketing strategy – a honed website.

The Brisbane-based removalist says an expensive foray into radio advertising made him shift online – an investment that brings in $5 of revenue for every 20 invested in his yourlocalremovers .com.au website.

“We don’t have a website to tell you about moving,” Rook (left) says. “It is to get your interest and your phone number.”

The strategy is paying off, he says, driving an annual average 100 per cent increase in his ever-expanding business.

New lows for coal prices – Whitehaven

WHITEHAVEN Coal chairman Mark Vaile says there is little sign of a market rebound in coal prices, but demand from China is expected to pick up in early 2013.

Mr Vaile told shareholders at Whitehaven’s annual general meeting coal prices had hit new lows in recent weeks.

The benchmark price of Whitehaven’s metallurgical product, Newcastle semi-soft coking coal had dropped to about $US115 a tonne in the December quarter from $US140 in the previous three months.

The monthly index price of standard Newcastle thermal coal also fell from over $US90 a tonne in July to less than $US80 a tonne in October.

Mr Vaile said it was difficult to have a high degree of confidence in predicting future coal prices for fiscal 2013.

“There is currently little sign of a market rebound, although forward markets are showing improving prices and there is the prospect of renewed demand growth from China in early 2013,” he told the meeting.

A small group of protesters carrying placards against Whitehaven’s planned coal mine at Maules Creek in northern NSW greeted the company’s shareholders as they arrived for the meeting at a hotel in Sydney’s CBD. Some were escorted from the hotel by police.

Whitehaven last week received approval for the Maules Creek project from the NSW Government. The deal will more than double Whitehaven’s production and make it a major coal player as it develops one of Australia’s biggest coal mines.

Managing director Tony Haggarty told the meeting that if the project won federal government approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act by the end of the year, the first coal was expected to be produced in early 2014.

The meeting was expected to be a fiery affair, with major shareholder Nathan Tinkler having vowed to vote against all resolutions.

Mr Tinkler, who holds about 21 per cent of Whitehaven shares, has said he is frustrated and disappointed with Whitehaven’s performance following a recent share price slump.

He also has said he will vote against the company’s pay report as well as the re-election of Whitehaven chairman Mark Vaile and directors Paul Flynn, Philip Christensen, Richard Gazzard and Christine McLoughlin.

Whitehaven’s shares were five cents lower at $3.00 at 11.10am AEDT.

Loblaw cuts 700 Toronto head office jobs

The decision by Loblaw Companies Limited to chop 700 jobs from the payroll in administration and at head office in Brampton on Tuesday was met with mixed reviews from analysts and investors.

After the announcement, shares rose 84 cents and closed at $34.72.

Loblaw has been upgrading its supply chain technology and infrastructure and while the job cuts may reflect greater efficiencies, Perry Caicco, managing director, CIBC World Markets, warned investors against applying the savings directly to the company’s bottom line.

“Notwithstanding that these job cuts probably reflect a demand from the parent company to generate some return on the outsized capital spending on

systems, it is highly unlikely that these actions will directly boost earnings,” wrote Caicco in a note to investors on Tuesday.

“The recent history of the company suggests that some of these job cuts will

be replaced by equally expensive outsourcing, and that the company will

struggle to re-assign eliminated roles in a productive fashion. In other words,

we believe the risk of poor head office execution and service to stores will be high for at least 12 months.”

Caicco said some portion of the cuts will likely reduce expenses, a necessity in light of the surge in growth in the grocery sector in Canada.

Walmart is in the midst of adding 4.6-million square feet of retail space to operations in Canada by the end of January 2013. More than half of the projects will involve supercentres providing a full range of groceries. Target will be selling groceries in stores opening in Canada next spring.

The family-owned Longo’s is also expanding in carefully selected prime locations in the GTA.

Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada’s largest food retailer, with more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores, including Loblaws, Zehrs, T&T, Fortinos, Provigo, No Frills and the Real Canadian Superstore. The company employs about 138,000 full- and part-time workers.

In the past 12 months, Loblaws has opened 14 new stores across Canada, creating 2,000 new jobs.

The investment in infrastructure at Loblaw – trimming 250 separate systems down to something manageable – began in 2009.

“It’s a huge job, particularly when you’ve got to keep the old systems running to keep doing business. It’s like changing the engine on a car while the engine is still running,” said retail analyst Ed Strapagiel.

“This year, 2012, is when most of their system conversion takes place. There will likely be teething pains, so add a few months to work the bugs out. I think most professional stock analysts understand this. I think they think Loblaw is doing the right thing, but they would prefer to see it go faster.”

Kenric Tyghe, an analyst with Raymond James Securities told Bloomberg news he viewed the move positively.

“With their new systems capabilities, certain HR requirements are now redundant and hence the job cuts,” he said.

Vicente Trius, president, Loblaw Companies Ltd., broke the news to employees this morning, according to Loblaw spokesperson Julija Hunter.

The changes will take effect starting Tuesday and should be complete within three weeks. The company expects to take a one-time estimated $60 million charge in the fourth quarter as a result.

“We feel really confident in our direction,” Hunter said, adding that the job reductions will make the company more competitive, eliminate duplications and allow the firm to focus more on the customer experience.

“We’re managing costs where it makes sense.”

The transition will not be fully in place until the end of 2014.

Loblaw is a subsidiary of George Weston Ltd., which is sitting on $3.6-billion in cash. A spokesman for George Weston Ltd. said in September that the cash will be used in part to refresh its North American bakeries and Canadian Loblaw stores.

It’s also looking to make acquisitions.

Loblaw saw its profit drop 22 per cent in the first quarter of 2012. Second quarter net earnings per common share were 57 cents, down almost 19 per cent compared to the same period in 2011.

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart—the Best of Their Reunion Pics!

Did anyone really think Robsten wouldn’t survive a little cheating scandal?

Of course not. Since word of their much-anticipated reconciliation broke this week, the Twilight twosome seemed to go out of their way to publicly flaunt their reunion. Yep, Christmas came early for the Twi-hards.

Rob and Kristen back together—on Breaking Dawn Part 2 poster!

So, in celebration of their momentous recoupling, we’ve rounded up the best pics of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart getting back together.

The first sighting, of course, came Saturday night, when R.Pattz and K.Stew hit up a friend’s birthday party together at Chateau Marmont. On Sunday, they were back together at Ye Rustic Inn in Los Feliz.

Rob and Kristen move past cheating scandal—but not quite ready for PDA

And by Monday, wearing similar baseball caps, Robsten headed to lunch together with some pals in Hollywood.

The Rob and Kristen road to reconciliation has been a process over these past few months.

Check out Robsten’s road to reconciliation timeline

A source told E! News, however, that Rob “decided to forgive her. He’s justifying it by believing her story that it was a one off mistake and will never happen again.”

On behalf of Twi-hards everywhere, we certainly hope he’s right.

Lance Armstrong steps down as head of foundation, gets dropped by Nike

In his first acknowledgment that his personal brand has been damaged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s voluminous account of what it characterized as “serial cheating” throughout his cycling career, Lance Armstrong resigned as chairman of the Livestrong Foundation he created to help cancer patients, he announced Wednesday.

And in a further blow to Armstrong’s reputation, longtime corporate sponsor Nike announced it was terminating its contract with Armstrongbut would continue supporting the Livestrong initiatives.Nike is the foundation’s most substantial corporate partner, marketing a line of athletic apparel and equipment that bears the Livestrong brand. Nike was also the creative mind behind the wildly popular Livestrong wristbands that since 2004 have generated roughly $80 million in proceeds.

Those associations will continue, as least for now. But Armstrong himself will no longer be compensated as a Nike athlete in the wake of USADA’s scathing report, his public personae deemed too tainted even for a company that has remained loyal to, and in some cases cultivated associations with, athletes with controversial images.

USADA’s 202-page report, which was backed by more than 1,000 pages of supporting documents and testimony and made public Oct. 10, asserted that Armstrong achieved all of his record seven Tour de France championships “start to finish” through doping. It relied on the testimony of 26 witness, including 11 of Armstrong’s former teammates. And it included detailed, first-hand accounts of Armstrong not only taking banned substances such as EPO and undergoing blood transfusion but also pressuring teammates on the U.S. Postal Service cycling team to dope, as well, and threatening those in position to testify against him.

After initially reiterating its support of Armstrong, Nike reversed course and severed ties with the athlete Wednesday — one week after the report’s public airing.

“Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract with him,” Nike’s statement read.

In announcing he was stepping down as chairman of the Livestrong Foundation, which last week claimed that donations increased after USADA on Aug. 24 stripped Armstrong of his Tour de France titles and banned him from the sport, Armstrong noted the organization’s global reach and effectiveness in helping roughly 2.5 million people affected by cancer.

But, he noted, he had decided “to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career” by stepping down as the foundation’s chairman, ceding the role to vice chairman Jeff Garvey.

Armstrong, 41, won all seven of his Tour de France titles after surviving his own battle against testicular cancer.

According to crisis management specialist Ashley McCown, the USADA report was simply too damning for Armstrong’s association with either Nike or his foundation to continue.

Can the world keep its promises on schools?

Rural school pupils in Tanzania

The millennium pledge made by international leaders that all children would have a primary education by 2015 is going to be “missed by a large margin”.

That’s the stark conclusion of a report published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

Despite an initial surge that saw tens of millions of extra children enrolling in primary schools, the report says progress is now “grinding to a halt”.

The report, published in Paris on Tuesday, shows the number of children without this basic level of education has fallen from 108 million to 61 million in the first decade of this century.

It means that since 2000, the percentage of the world’s children entering primary education has risen from 80% to 90%.

It’s a leap forward, but some distance from reaching the finishing line.

“It is simply unacceptable that out-of-school numbers have stagnated, and in Africa have risen,” said Gordon Brown, former UK prime minister and now UN global education envoy.

But he added: “Now is not the time for defeatism and despair,” and called on the international community to “redouble our efforts”.

‘Stagnated’

Pauline Rose, director of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report, says the drive for universal primary education had enjoyed an initial “honeymoon period” with strong political backing and financial support.

If that early rate of progress had been maintained, the target would have been achieved, she says.

Unesco education graphic
Unesco education graphic

But at the current slow rate of change, Dr Rose says it would take at least until 2030.

Why has it proved so difficult to provide primary schools? If the world can put a spacecraft on Mars, surely it can build and staff enough classrooms. This pledge on primary schools has now been a target since 1990.

“To a large extent it’s a lack of money, aid donors have not provided the $16bn (£10bn) needed to get every child into school,” says Dr Rose.

There is also a sense of fading international attention, particularly since the financial crisis. “People have lost their interest and turned to other things,” she says.

The corrosive impact of armed conflict and political instability has also been a barrier. And the shooting in Pakistan last week of 14-year-old education campaigner, Malala Yousafza, showed the cultural barriers that remain.

There are also distinct regional patterns below the headline figures.

While many Asian countries have made strides forward, including Pakistan, there has been much less advance in sub-Saharan Africa.

The single biggest number of children out of school is now in Nigeria – with the report showing there are 3.6 million more children missing school than in 2000.

Adult illiteracy

But despite the forecast of missing the target, there are some reasons for optimism.

Many more girls are in school – and in many countries there has been a substantial improvement in the availability of school places.

Ethiopia and India are given as examples of what can be achieved, with “dramatic” reductions in out-of-school children.

Tanzania trebled the proportion of national income spent on education and saw its primary enrolment rate double.

“Overall it’s a story of success. We’ve managed to make great progress, but we must not stop,” Dr Rose says.

There will also need to be a more targeted approach for those groups still missing out, she says.

The report published by Unesco shows how within countries there are deep inequalities in access to school – with the rich many times more likely to attend than their poorer compatriots.

Among wealthy families in African countries, enrolment rates are on a par with anything in the developed world.

But even the lowest level of school fees can be enough to exclude the poorest families.

It’s not only children who are missing the barest of essentials in education.

There was also a target to cut adult illiteracy by half, also by 2015, which the report predicts has little chance of being achieved – a casualty of “government and donor indifference”.

It means there are 775 million adults unable to read or write.

Stifled West Bank economy drains Palestinians’ hopes

Market vendors at a stall in Hebron Old City

Passers-by linger in front of the window displays on a main shopping street in central Hebron but seem reluctant to enter the stores. In the old market, vendors call out their wares but are largely ignored.

The city is the largest in the West Bank and a major commercial and industrial hub, accounting for about one third of the West Bank’s GDP. Recently it was also the scene of some of the worst violence during Palestinian economic protests.

Locals blame the discontent on high unemployment, low wages and the rising cost of living as well as the heavy burden of consumer debt.

“Our economy depends 100% on customers and as you can see, now the customers have no money,” says Ayman, a tour guide.

As the global recession plays out, the Palestinians are not alone in facing such woes. Yet, as a recent World Bank report highlighted, there are some unique factors that also hurt their economy.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) relies on international aid but has seen a recent shortfall in donor funding, the World Bank says, while the Israeli occupation of the West Bank sets obstacles that “constrain investment, raise costs and hinder economic cohesion”.

Worryingly for the international community, committed to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, there are now many ordinary Palestinians who conclude that the 1993 Oslo Accords should be scrapped.

“We need to go back 20 or 25 years before Oslo. The basic rules of this commitment are so bad for the Palestinian people,” says Amr, who runs a market-stall in Hebron.

Settlement growth

The interim peace agreement produced the current zoning of the West Bank where the main Palestinian urban areas are under the administrative and security control of the PA, but 62%, known as Area C, remains under full Israeli control.

Protests in Hebron
Economic protests in Hebron last month were some of the largest in the West Bank

Jewish settlements have rapidly expanded in Area C in the two decades since the Oslo Accords were signed. The World Bank warns that this restricts the fertile land and water available to Palestinians.

In Hebron, there is also an Israeli military presence to protect about 500 settlers who live inside the city. A survey by Israeli human rights groups in 2007 found that in the area they occupy over 1,800 businesses and warehouses had closed since the start of the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising. This was due to movement restrictions and some military orders.

“The Old City has been badly affected because of clashes and the Israeli soldiers coming overnight. Many people have moved out because they don’t feel safe,” says Omar al-Hroub, owner of a jewellery store.

The local governor, Kamal Ahmed is not surprised that Hebron residents have been venting their frustration.

“When we signed the Oslo Agreement we promised many things – freedom, ending the occupation, an independent state and a very good economic situation. It was supposed to take five years, but nothing happened,” he says. “For this reason they are angry.”

Fear and loneliness in China

A section of the printing plant run by the communists in Northern China. Photographs of Stalin and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt are seen on the walls. Mao Tse Tung rules the area with an iron fist and as a consequence the area is in fact a state within a state.

What kind of society will China’s new leaders inherit? China has developed at unimaginable pace, lifting millions out of poverty. But as part of a series of viewpoints on challenges for China’s new leadership, Gerard Lemos, who conducted research in the mega-city of Chongqing, says it is easy to overlook its lonely underbelly.

An old man was hanging upside down in the public square. His feet in traditional cloth shoes were over the parallel bars from which he had suspended himself, for what were presumably his morning exercises. He was fully clothed and in a padded overcoat to combat the spring chill.

I saw this when visiting a factory community in Beijing in 2008. On the face of it, this was a peculiar act to perform in a public space, but people walked past taking no notice. In such traditional Chinese communities, this public square served as a communal living room; most of the people around are friends and neighbours. Not being surprised by the unusual behaviour of your neighbours is an aspect of intimate community life.

But this kind of sight will become rarer as a changing China sees the fragmentation of these communities.

When I was a visiting professor at a Chinese university I was asked by the government’s civil affairs bureau to find out people’s fears and dreams to help the authorities better understand the risks of social unrest.

In the Mao era factory units, between the smoky brick factories and chimneys and cramped, dark flats was a bare concrete public space like the one where this old man was exercising.

Because people lived in such uncomfortable and overcrowded conditions, these public spaces were claimed by residents taking exercise, spontaneous groups performing tai chi or playing Chinese chess. Old men would take their caged songbirds out for some air and a change of scene.

But this way of life is disappearing, in the cities and in the countryside. For many in China isolation is a new experience brought on by economic transformation. In the neighbourhoods where I worked in Chongqing and Beijing, loneliness was spreading like pollution.

The new leadership scheduled to be announced in November will not just have to address failing economic growth and foreign policy dilemmas such as regional territorial disputes, but also the absence of a social safety net, the consequences of the one-child policy and the unhappiness of migrants to cities and factories.

High-rise isolation

For many in China isolation is a new experience brought on by economic transformation.

From the 1950s to 1970s people were allocated to factory units for life by the Party authorities. Megaphones blared propaganda continuously. Workers had to sing Maoist songs, wear uniforms and participate in daily group exercises. Party officials were everywhere and permission was needed for everything, including getting married or moving house.

But there was an upside. The residents were promised a job for life, a free school and clinic. The intention was they stayed in one place all their lives, though the Cultural Revolution threw that into turbulence. Over time living side-by-side turned neighbours into families and families became communities, however hard their lives.

Since the 1990s the factories have been closed and demolished. Farmers’ land near cities is being sold for development into high-rise flats.

One ex-farmer in Chongqing whose land had been confiscated told me: “My land being expropriated [changed my life. I wish] to have my own land and to live my life as a peasant farmer.”

Another was worried about where he would live now that his land had gone: “[My greatest worry] is having no place to live. [I wish] to have more living places built for the peasant workers.” Another said: “[I wish] the urban residents who have just changed from rural residents could all get employed.”

In fact, longstanding residents are evicted from their homes and given a small flat and minimal financial compensation in the least desirable accommodation. Either there is no public space or it is far away and soulless. Employment prospects for ex-farmers are poor or non-existent. There is nothing to do except stay indoors, watch TV or gamble on the stock market – now, some believe, approaching a national obsession.

Why Russia’s Orthodox Church is teaching teenagers Parkour

A Russian Parkour athlete performs a back-flip

The Russian Orthodox Church has come under fire following recent stories about church officials being involved in drink-driving and road rage attacks. But it also provides valuable public services – including helping wayward teenagers get back on track via a risky urban sport.

My stomach lurches. The young man in in front of me suddenly plunges down the stairwell and seems to be dangling in mid-air three floors up.

Then silently – without so much as a grunt – he springs over the banister and is standing next to me again.

Evgeny Krynin is one of St Petersburg’s most renowned Parkour artists – the urban sport which mixes acrobatics and athletics and is similar to the discipline known as free running.

Parkour may have first taken off in France in the 1990s, but Krynin says the true home of this extreme sport, which requires participants to leap, climb and somersault across buildings, is Russia.

“It suits our national psyche. Our appetite for risk and love of speed – I guess we’re crazy,” he says.

Like Georges Hebert, the 19th Century French naval officer who was a forerunner of Parkour, Krynin believes that athletic skill and courage must be combined with altruism.

“It has to be about more than glory, fame and showing off a well-toned body,” he says.

So for the past three years, he has been giving training sessions in orphanages and prisons – and also in Russia’s residential centre for teenagers on probation.

“Most of these kids have been drinking, sniffing glue or using other drugs for years,” Krynin says.

“So we start them off with exercises to improve strength and flexibility before we try anything more complicated.”

The St Basil the Great Adaptation Centre on St Petersburg’s Vasilievsky Island has a team of counsellors and therapists to help the boys deal with their problems – but Krynin says Parkour is itself therapeutic.

“Many of them have been thrown out school. As a result they have few aspirations and a great deal of anger inside them. But you have to be calm and concentrated to perfect a difficult movement,” he says.

“When they succeed, of course it gives them a sense of pride. It teaches them that every obstacle can be overcome with enough perseverance.”

Krynin, a 26-year-old wearing jeans and a hoodie, can be seen as a poster boy for a side of the Russian Orthodox Church that has not been much on display recently.

When I arrived in St Petersburg, the papers were buzzing with a story about a local deacon who beat up two women in their sixties in a road rage incident.

The Parkour training course at St Basil's adaption centre
The Parkour training course at St Basil’s adaption centre

The Parkour training course at St Basil’s adaption centre[/caption]Valentina Pavlova, a pensioner from the nearby town of Vsevolozhsk, told local press that the man nearly crashed into her. When she banged on his car window to complain about his driving, she says he got out of the car and punched her in face.

Sergei Frunza has since been suspended from his duties as police investigate the incident – but it is not an isolated case.

There is also the father superior from Moscow who drunkenly crashed his BMW sports car and a speeding archdeacon who ran over and killed two workmen mending the road.

When the head of the church Patriarch Kirill himself was photographed wearing a $32,000 (£20,000) Swiss watch, the Church made things worse by airbrushing it out – and forgetting to erase its reflection on a shiny table.

Father Alexander Setpanov, who runs the church’s social programmes in St Petersburg, is painfully aware that many have condemned the Church for its unchristian behaviour in the Putin era.

I am curious to know what he thinks about the Church hierarchy in Moscow and its reaction to the feminist punk band Pussy Riot.

Senegal banned from Nations Cup after riot

Police escort Ivory Coast players off the pitch in Dakar

Senegal have been disqualified from the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations after a riot forced the abandonment of Saturday’s home tie with Ivory Coast.

It is not yet clear whether the Confederation of African Football will take further action against Senegal.

The match in Dakar was called off after 74 minutes, with Ivory Coast 2-0 up on the night and 6-2 ahead on aggregate.

Caf has officially confirmed the result as a 2-0 win for Ivory Coast, sending them through to next year’s tournament.

Senegal manager Ferdinand Coly said on Sunday that “Senegal will accept the sanctions”. He also apologised to Ivory Coast.

Trouble flared after striker Didier Drogba scored his side’s second goal from the penalty spot.

Visiting supporters were forced to leap down on to the pitch to escape as violence erupted, with home fans throwing missiles, stones, bottles and firecrackers.

Ivorian players took refuge in the centre circle while the security forces used tear gas to disperse the rioting fans.

The match was suspended for 40 minutes while police tried to restore order but the referee was forced to call off the second-leg, final-round qualifier.

Caf says its decision to ban Senegal is in accordance with the provisions of article 16 paragraph 20 of their regulations of the competition, which states:

“If the referee is forced to stop the match before the end of the regular time because of invasion of the field or aggression against the visiting team, the host team shall be considered loser and shall be eliminated from the competition, without prejudice to the sanctions existing in the regulations.”

Ivory Coast had already been included in Monday’s seedings draw for the 2013 Nations Cup , which will be held in South Africa between 19 January and 10 February.