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AFCON: Drama as referee ends Tunisia, Mali match before 90 minutes

AFCON: Drama as referee ends Tunisia, Mali match before 90 minutes
January 12
18:32 2022

The 2021 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) clash between Tunisia and Mali on Wednesday afternoon ended in bizarre circumstances after the referee blew the final whistle before the 90th minute.

In a game that was eventually won by Mali, Janny Sikazwe, the centre referee, blew for full-time in the 85th and 90th minute, after a red card and two penalties had stirred controversy.

The first period of the match was short on chances and dull but the game sparked to life in the second half with Mali winning a spot-kick following a handball in the penalty area.

Ibrahima Kone scored what proved to be the winning goal via a penalty kick on 48 minutes, with Ibrahima Munkoro, Mali goalkeeper, saving Wahbi Khazri’s 77th-minute penalty before chaos ensued in the final minutes.

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Sikazwe blew his whistle for full time on 85 minutes to the dismay of both nations and spectators.

The Zambian official, however, restarted the match after notification but created more controversy by blowing the final whistle again in 90 minutes — without adding extra time.

 

This had infuriated Mondher Kebaier, Tunisian coach, and his staff, who entered the playing field to express their anger. Security guards were then required to escort the officiating team off the pitch.

Officials of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), however, intervened minutes later with the referee ordered back to the pitch to play out the three minutes of additional time.

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While the Malians showed up, the Tunisians failed to return to the pitch, prompting CAF to award the match to Mali.

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