AFCON Referees Chaos: Explaining what happened at the end of the match Tunisia vs. Mali

The African Cup nation’s 2022 match between Tunisia and Mali ended in chaos after the referee twice decided to whistle the end of the match before 90 minutes of regulation.

Wednesday’s match at Omnisport Stadium in Limbe, Cameroon was a thrilling affair and ended in an explosive manner when Mali emerged from the chaos as the winner 1: 0. Group E’s opening match also included two penalties and a red card.

It is not clear whether there was a technical fault, but the referee decided to whistle full time early on two different occasions before trying to bring the teams back for another break, which one team directly refused.

What happened at the end of the match Tunisia vs. Small?

While the first half of the match Tunisia vs. Mali, like many previous AFCON 2022 matches, was monotonous and ended 0-0, the second half of the action was much more fun.

At the beginning of the half, Mali earned a penalty after the VAR control and the 22-year-old Sarpsborg striker Ibrahim Kone placed a direct kick and put the Eagles in the lead.

As the half-life continued, the last 20 minutes exploded. Tunisia was penalized for a ball in the area and Wahbi Khazri stood up for it. Goalkeeper Mali Ibrahim Mounkoro faced this challenge and made an amazing jump into the water and kept the penalty.

This whole event is remarkable as we get to the events of the last five minutes of the game.

In the 86th minute, the referees blew the whistle full time and the Tunisian coach was furious and everyone was showing their watch. The referee realized his mistake and the match continued.

A moment later, the referee drove a straight red card for El Bilal Toure from Mali, which seemed like a harmless challenge. The referee went to the field monitor to check the incident on video, and records showed that Toure stepped over the ball and into the shin of a Tunisian player. After reviewing the judges stayed with their original decision and Tunisia had a few more minutes with the advantage of a man to seek a settlement.

But then when the clock showed 89:40, a few seconds after the end of the playing time and it was not over yet, the referee whistled again full time to end the match.

After two penalties, two VAR reviews and a red card shown, it would not only be expected, but a decent piece of stopwatch would be needed. However, the referee brought the match to an end not only without additional time, but 20 seconds before the entire 90 minutes of regulation. Tunisia’s coaching team erupted in anger and protested for several minutes, but it was useless. The match was over.

What are the consequences of the dispute between Tunisia and Mali?

That did not end the disputes.

Shortly after the final whistle sounded and the teams left the field, the referees realized their mistake. The referees tried to get the players of both teams back on the field.

While Mali’s players returned to the field willing to continue, Tunisia refused, unwilling to continue because their players had already returned to the locker rooms and their emotions were too high.

“He deprived us of concentration,” Tunisian head coach Mondher Kebaier said after defeating Tunisia 1-0, citing CNFC’s official AFCON website. “We didn’t want to continue because the players had already bathed, deconcentrated and demoralized in the face of this terrible situation.”

“Players bathed in ice for 35 minutes before being recalled.” Kebaier continued. “I’ve been training for a long time and I’ve never seen anything like it. Even the fourth referee was preparing to lift the board.” [to show the stoppage time] and then the whistle sounded. “

Due to the controversy, the next match between Mauritania and The Gambia was postponed by 45 minutes.

In addition, Tunisia has lodged an official complaint with the African Confederation (CAF), which apparently has 24 hours to respond.

It is unlikely that Tunisia’s complaint will bring more than a mea culpa from the CAF after officials tried to correct the mistake. From a sporting point of view, the only possible option would be to either continue the last five minutes later or repeat the whole match, and neither seems viable.

What caused the disputes between Tunisia and Mali?

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Although the CAF has not yet provided an official explanation of the events at the end of the match, there are several theories that are circulating.

The most reasonable explanation for the problem would be a technical error or a referee’s error regarding the timekeeping used. In short, the judge’s watch either didn’t work or didn’t work properly. An attempt to end the match in the 85th minute best gives the presumption that there was an error in measuring the referee’s time, which then led to further complications on a full-time basis.

It is possible that during the five-minute water break, which took place earlier at half-time, the Referee did not count the extra time, which could be a simple but plausible explanation of why the match ended in 90 minutes and not a five-minute break. time.

The CAF is expected to provide more clarification of the incident in the short term as they work through the fallout.

Who was the referee in Tunisia vs. Small?

Referee Janny Sikazwe is not a newcomer to the controversy.

The Zambian national team has been a FIFA official since 2007 and has the 2016 Club World Cup finals, the 2017 African Cup final and two 2018 World Cup matches in his CV. However, not all of these events went smoothly.

In the 2016 Club World Cup final between Real Madrid and Kashima Antlers, Sikazwe made headlines because the official seemed to be showing a yellow card to Sergio Ramos before realizing that Ramos had booked the match before, and then stayed behind. to grant Ramos a second reservation. After the match, Sikazwe explained that the confusion came from incorrect communication with his assistant referee, who noticed the foul, and Sikazwe believed he had heard his assistant suggest that a card should be shown before it was clarified that his assistant had said “no card “handset.

Just two years later, Sikazwe was under fire again due to an incident in a CAF Champions League match between Esperance de Tunis and Primeiro de Agosto. After Sikazwe awarded Esperance a controversial penalty at the start of the match and later ruled out Primeira’s goal, a complaint of corruption was filed and Sikazwe was temporarily suspended, although he was later cleared for lack of evidence.


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