Africa Cup scandal: Tunisia-Mali referee finished it twice early and one team did not want to play again

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A major scandal was unleashed on the day of this Wednesday of the African Cup of Nations when the referee Janny Sikazwe ended the match between the national teams of Tunisia Y Mali twice before regulation time. After this unusual failure, they tried to resume the game but the Tunisian team players refused to return to the field of play and gave up the victory.

We have heard, a collegiate from Zambia, the end of the match corresponding to the Date 1 of Group F. First he blew his whistle on the minute 85. To the surprise of all those present in the stadium Limbe Omnisport Stadium, decreed the end with a 1-0 in favor of the Malians.

All the players got into an uproar and started protesting because they realized that there were still a few minutes left to be disputed. They had to go find Mohamed Magassouba, the coach of Mali, who was already speaking to the press. In this context, with the anger of the Tunisians, the referee resumed the match. But four minutes later, just before the end of the regulation time, he decreed the end again.

Tunisian players protest to referee Janny Sikazwe, who twice ended the match early (Photo: REUTERS)
Tunisian players protest to referee Janny Sikazwe, who twice ended the match early (Photo: REUTERS)

It was as if We have heard would have added a hypothetical stoppage time, although in no case did the match reach the 90 minutes. Immediately, the players and the coaching staff of Tunisia They began to reproach the referee for his mistake. The referee team had to be protected by security guards to leave the field of play.

After almost half an hour, there were intentions to resume the match once again. They were going to play only three minutes, as reported by the portal RMC Sport. Even Sikazwe was going to give his place to Hélder Martins de Carvalho, who was as fourth official. However, although Mali returned to the pitch, the players of Tunisia they refused to do so and yielded the victory to their rival.

The match is finally over 1-0 in favor of Mali with a penalty goal from Ibrahima Koné, although it is not ruled out that the Tunisian team makes a claim to the tournament authorities. The Eagles they greeted their fans who were still present in the stands, while their rivals refused to leave the locker room. For all this incident, the other encounter of the Group F planned between Gambia Y Mauritania was postponed 45 minutes.

“It was a misunderstanding between the two teams. We did not understand each other very well. We went back to the locker room thinking that it was over even though we had felt a strange atmosphere on the pitch. I understood once in the dressing room that the referee had made a mistake twice. Now they are trying to fix it, but it’s kind of weird. We came back because they told us to go back to the field. We won but it’s sad to have events like this. We did not steal the victory but we wanted a clear victory ”, he lamented Massadio Haidara, player from Mali, in dialogue with Canal +.

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