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Africa Cup of Nations 2022: Referee causes chaos after ending Tunisia-Mali group match early twice | World news

An Africa Cup of Nations group stage match was plunged into chaos after the full-time whistle was blown twice before the full 90 minutes.

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

After play resumed, he finished the game in the 90th minute, despite a number of saves, including two VAR checks.

Soccer Football - African Cup of Nations - Group F - Tunisia v Mali - Limbe Omnisport Stadium, Limbe, Cameroon - January 12, 2022 Tunisian coach Mondher Kebaier remonstrates with referee Janny Sikazwe after the REUTERS / Mohamed Abd match El Ghany
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Tunisian coach Mondher Kebaier (center) admonishes referee Janny Sikazwe after the match

Mali won the game 1-0, thanks to a penalty from Ibrahima Kone after Tunisian Wahbi Khazri’s shot from the penalty spot was stopped by Malian goalkeeper Ibrahima Mounkoro with 13 minutes remaining.

Tunisian players and coaches were furious as officials stormed onto the pitch in protest.

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

The Malian player returned to the pitch 40 minutes after an incorrect whistle, but Tunisia refused to continue and Mr Sikazwe ended the game for the third and final time.

Soccer Football - African Cup of Nations - Group F - Tunisia v Mali - Limbe Omnisport Stadium, Limbe, Cameroon - January 12, 2022 Malian Falaye Sacko with Tunisian Hannibal Mejbri after the match REUTERS / Mohamed Abd El Ghany
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Manchester United and Tunisia attacking midfielder Hannibal Mejbri demonstrates with Malian player after match

Tunisian coach furious at “inexplicable” decision

Although there was no official statement from the tournament organizers, Tunisia head coach Mondher Kebaier was visibly angry after the game.

He and his team stormed the pitch in protest and after the match he said: “I have been in this business for 30 years and this is the first time I see this situation.

“This decision is inexplicable, I can’t understand how he made it. We’ll see what happens.”

Soccer Football - African Cup of Nations - Group F - Tunisia v Mali - Stade Omnisport de Limbe, Limbe, Cameroon - January 12, 2022 Security protects referee Janny Sikazwe as he leaves the pitch after the REUTERS / Mohamed match Abd El Ghany
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Security protects referee Janny Sikazwe as he leaves the pitch after the match

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