Yaoundé (AFP) – Tunisia’s protest over their bizarre Africa Cup of Nations defeat to Mali in which the referee blew the final whistle twice before full-time was thrown out late on Thursday, as it emerged the official in question may have been suffering from heatstroke and dehydration.
Mali were leading Wednesday’s match 1-0 when Zambian official Janny Sikazwe signalled the end of the match after 85 minutes, then again at 89 minutes and 47 seconds — even though three minutes of time added on had been scheduled.
The Tunisians, who had been desperately searching for an equaliser against a Mali side reduced to 10 men, were furious.
When the teams were informed that the match must resume, only Mali complied while Tunisia’s players were already in ice baths, refusing to return to the pitch.
“After examining the protest of Tunisia and all the match officials’ report, the organising committee decided to dismiss the protest lodged by the Tunisian team….and to homologate the match result as 1-0 in favour of Mali,” said a statement released by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
CAF’s refereeing chief, Essam Abdel Fattah, defended Sikazwe in quotes to Egyptian media and said he had been adversely affected by the heat in the Cameroonian venue of Limbe in a match that kicked off in the middle of the afternoon.
“People need to know that Janny Sikazwe is the second-best referee in Africa, after the Algerian Mustapha Ghorbal,” he was reported as saying.
“The truth is that Janny Sikazwe had heatstroke and was suffering from dehydration. He completely lost concentration.”
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $35/mo. for Sling Blue
- Watch Premier League, World Cup & MLS
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $9.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
110+ channels, live & on-demand
- Price: $59.95/mo. for Plus Package
- Includes FOX, FS1, ESPN, TUDN & more
- Arsenal vs Spurs: TV coverage details
- Premier League All-Star game reportedly still in the works
- Christopher Nkunku already completed Chelsea medical – reports
- Bundesliga adds two new statistics to broadcast, app
- EPL commentator schedule: October 1-3
- American businessman reportedly in talks to buy Everton
- Alfie Haaland suggests his son could soon leave Manchester City
- How DAZN acquiring Eleven Sports affects soccer fans in USA
- Where to find Puebla vs. América on US TV
- Where to find Hull City vs. Luton Town on US TV