AFCON 2021: Huge Controversy As Referee Blows Before 90mins.

Mali’s 1-0 win over Tunisia saw referee Janny Sikazwe blow before the 90th minute in a bizarre and controversial end to the Afcon group-stage clash.

Zambian official Sikazwe initially blew his whistle to indicate the end of the match in the 85 minute, before play resumed after the error only for Sikazwe to blow again at 89mins 42secs. The game finished after the second mistake, with around 18 seconds of normal time still on the clock, sparking outrage from Tunisia’s players and coaching staff, who were attempting to overturn a 1-0 deficit.

There was also the potential for stoppage time to be added, with VAR checks having taken place, as well as a red card being issued and two penalties being awarded. There were suggestions that the final minutes of the match would be resumed, despite the game having ended and the players having left the field.

Mali coach Mohamed Magassouba had been holding a post-match press conference before it was reportedly interrupted as CAF officials contemplated the scenario of a resumption.

Indeed, around 20 minutes after full-time the Mali players reemerged onto the pitch at Limbe Stadium and were willing to see out what was left on the clock. Tunisia reportedly refused, however, with the game officially ending as a 1-0 win for Mali. Sikazwe and Mali waited for them and blew the whistle calling off the match. 

Now it’s officially full time.

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