CAN 2022: Tunisia-Mali, an unprecedented end to the meeting 

The match between Tunisia and Mali (score 0-1) during the African Cup of Nations, this Wednesday, January 12, ended on a dramatic note, with premature whistles from Zambian central referee Janny Sikazwe of the encounter. This end to the match drew a lot of anger from the Tunisian side and tarnished the image of African football internationally. 

During the first match of group F of CAN 2022 (Tunisia-Mali), the end of the match turned into a real cinema the Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe who was in charge of the game decided without reason to put an end to the meeting for the first time in the 85th minute of play, before resuming a few seconds later, in total incomprehension. A clearly unjustifiable decision. 

He finally stopped the game for real 15 seconds from the end (89th minute and 45 seconds) before the end of regulation time. Without even taking into account a possible additional time, since several changes have been made, no less than nine, as well as several stoppages of play in particular that caused by his imaginary whistle rather and revision in the VAR. Another absurd fact is that the fourth referee was going to raise his panel to announce additional time when the referee whistled the end of the match.  

This decision did not please the staff of the Tunisian team who quickly went on the field to ask the referees for an explanation. In view of the anger of the Tunisians, nicknamed “the Eagles of Carthage, the refereeing corps had to leave the field under security escort. 

“He practically deprives us of seven or eight minutes of added time. His decision is inexplicable”, declared the coach of the Tunisian team, Mondher Kebaier, in a press conference after the match. 


To silence controversy, about 20 minutes after the referee's decision. The CAF (African Football Confederation) attempted a resumption of the match, at least a few minutes of additional time with another referee. The Malians returned to the field, but not the Tunisians who for the most part were already on the bus. The referee therefore finally whistled the end of the meeting which will remain forever in the annals. 

As for Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe, he is in his fifth AFCON, he also participated in the 2018 World Cup and refereed African club cup finals. And is already the subject of serious scandals in African football. 



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