Referee whistles twice too early: Total chaos at the Africa Cup
Chaos at the Africa Cup: The Schriri whistled off the duel between Tunisia and Mali too early – and triggered violent tumult.
What a game at the Africa Cup between Tunisia and Mali! But not because of the game itself or the boring result, Mali won 1-0 – but because referee Janny Sikazwe from Zambia put down what is probably the most memorable final phase in the history of the Cup.
Sikazwe led the hectic game very confidently until then, but what he did in the last minutes of the game was just wild and ended in utter chaos.
Africa Cup: Referee just blows the whistle
Everything went fairly smoothly for 85 minutes, but then Sikazwe started his strange run. The referee whistled the game five minutes before the end of regular time out of the blue, Tunisia were already 1-0 down and of course protested loudly.
Sikawze let it change his mind and just a few moments later made the next inexplicable appearance. After a harmless foul in midfield, he sent the Malian El Bilal Toure off the pitch – although the VAR intervened, Sikazwe watched the scene several times on the screen and a red card was completely overdrawn.
That was the second minute-long VAR check, before that Sikawze had to correct himself after a scene that was difficult to understand at a penalty whistle. In addition, there was a penalty for Mali, which then led to the winning goal, plus a total of eight substitutions – and all of this only in the second half.
Africa Cup: No added time, no restart
An injury time of six, seven or more minutes would have been appropriate. But Sikawze whistled off the game a second time – after 89 minutes and 40 seconds. So again before the end of regular playing time and without letting the overtime play due.
The Tunisian bank was raging again, the coaching and support team ran onto the pitch, and the substitutes were also involved. This time, however, Sikawze stayed tough, did not whistle the game again and thus ended a truly memorable final phase of a wild game. Sikawze was escorted into the cabin, protected by stewards and security. Half an hour later, Mali was suddenly back on the pitch, but Tunisia was not and there was no trace of referee Sikawze either.
Apparently the fourth official wanted to play the rest of the season. But Tunisia was no longer visible. Mali’s players held out for a few minutes, then applauded themselves and went back to the dressing room. The bizarre end to a bizarre afternoon at the African Cup of Nations.