Tunisia vs Mali in the AFCON descended into absolute chaos, with several refereeing blunders made by Janny Sikazwe. Mali won the game 1-0, but it wasn’t without controversy.
The referee first blew the final whistle five minutes before time was up, but he recognised his error and allowed the game to continue. But, that was only the beginning of the chaotic sequence that would follow.
Mali’s El Bilal Toure was sent off by Sikazwe for a strong challenge. Although VAR reviewed the decision and asked the on-pitch referee to reverse his call, Sikazwe didn’t listen.
Tunisia vs Mali ends in chaotic fashion
After the harsh call against Mali, Sikazwe blew the final whistle early once more, this time 20 seconds before 90. The Tunisia players were absolutely furious with the referee for his actions.
There are suggestions that the referee forgot to stop his watch during the water break, which resulted in him blowing the final whistle earlier than expected on two separate occasions.
Tunisia were awarded a penalty earlier in the game, and had a golden chance to finish level. But, Wahbi Khazri could not convert from 12 yards out, and the miss proved to be extremely costly for them in the end.
Later, Mali head coach Mohamed Magassouba’s post-match press conference was interrupted by AFCON officials, who said that the game would be restarted to play out the final three minutes. However, Tunisia did not show up despite their entire bench furious at Sikazwe for his errors.