Afcon 2021: Tunisia Coach Mad at Referee for Poor Officiating

Mali and Tunisia’s Africa Cup of Nations game is one game many football lovers have talked about lately. The referee Janny Sikazwe ended the game in the 85th minute with five minutes and extra time left to play. The game finished in chaos with the referee’s full-time whistle in the 85 minutes. 

After the referee was called to order, he ended the match when the clock showed 89 minutes and 47 seconds. Tunisia head coach Mondher Kebaier and the coaching crew were not happy with the action of the referee. They all ran into the field to confront referee Janny Sikazwe after his final whistle consigned them to a 1-0 defeat in Group F.

Tunisia Head Coach Reacts to Referee Janny Sikazwe Poor Decision

Twenty minutes later, after Mali manager Mohamed Magassouba’s post-match press conference had started, tournament organisers ordered the game to be played to a conclusion. However, the Tunisia players did not return to the field and Mali were declared the winner.

Afcon 2021: Tunisia Coach Mad At Referee For Poor Officiating

Kebaier called the referee’s actions “inexplicable”, adding: “He blew for full time and asked us to go to the dressing room, so the players were in their ice baths, and then he asked us to come back out. “In 30 years in this business, I have never seen anything like it.”

The referee Janny Sikazwe might have forgotten to pause during their seven-minute water break, and when it was 90 minutes on his time, it must have been 85 minutes on the actual football time. But the problem now was why Janny Sikazwe had to end the game in the 89th minute of the game or was he pressed? 

End of an action-packed second half, which saw two stoppages for video assistant referee checks as well as a drinks break and several substitutions, Sikazwe became the centre of attention.

Afcon 2021: Tunisia Coach Mad At Referee For Poor Officiating

The Zambian who refereed two group-stage games at the 2018 World Cup in Russia – had signalled for full-time with five minutes remaining before checking his timings and continuing the game. Then he ended the match 23 seconds before the 90th-minute mark – and without adding any additional time for stoppages.

Kebaier and his staff angrily confronted Sikazwe and his assistants on the pitch, pointing to their watches and remonstrating about the lack of added time.

Tunisia coach Mondher Kebaier expressed his anger in the post-match conferree, and he said: “His decision is inexplicable. I can’t understand how he made his decision, and we will see what happens now.” The Confederation of African Football (Caf), organisers of the tournament, will have questions to answer following a ridiculous ending and Tunisian protests.

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