African Cup of Nations 2022: Referee causes chaos after ending group match between Tunisia and Mali early twice

A group stage game at the Africa Cup of Nations was thrown into chaos after the full-time whistle was twice blown before the full 90 minutes.

Zambian referee Janny Sikawe was in charge of the Group F match between Tunisia and Mali when he initially ended the match after 85 minutes.

After the game restarted, he ended the match in the 90th minute, despite a number of stoppages, including two VAR checks.

Mali won the match 1-0, thanks to an Ibrahima Kone penalty after Tunisia’s Wahbi Khazri’s effort from the penalty spot was saved by Mali’s goalkeeper, Ibrahima Mounkoro, 13 minutes from time.

Tunisia’s players and coaching staff were furious, with officials storming onto the pitch in protest.

Post-match presentations were in full swing before officials from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) decided the remaining minutes should be played.

Mali’s player returned to the pitch 40 minutes after the whistle was blown incorrectly, but Tunisia refused to play on, and Mr Sikazwe ended the game for a third and final time.

Tunisia manager furious at ‘inexplicable’ decision

While there has been no official statement from the tournament’s organisers, Tunisia’s head coach, Mondher Kebaier, was visibly angry after the game.

He and his staff stormed the pitch in protest and after the game, he said: “I’ve been in this business for 30 years and it’s the first time I’ve seen this situation.

“This decision is inexplicable, I cannot understand how he took it. We will see what will happen.”

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