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AFCON 2021: Controversy as referee stops Tunisia vs Mali game early

AFCON 2021: Controversy as referee stops Tunisia vs Mali game early

The Tunisia vs Mali game at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations descended into controversy, as referee Zambian Sikazwe blew twice for full time before the 90 minutes were over.

The North Africans refused to return to the field in protest 40 minutes later, as they lost 1-0.

Mali striker, Ibrahima Kone, converted a penalty in the second half to ensure they took all three points.

Tunisia also missed a spot kick of their own in the Group F fixture.

Sikazwe, who officiated at the last World Cup in Russia three years ago, initially blew for the final whistle on 85 minutes.

He repeated the mistake when he blew for full-time before the clock had ticked over to the 90 minutes.

Mali came out onto the pitch again 40 minutes after the controversy began, but Tunisia refused to play on and Sikazwe ended the game for a third time.

“The players were taking ice baths for 35 minutes before they were called back out again.

“I’ve been coaching for a long time never seen anything like it. Even the fourth official was preparing to lift the board [to show how many minutes of injury-time] and then the whistle was blown,” Tunisia coach Mondher Kebaier told reporters.

AFCON 2021: Controversy as referee stops Tunisia vs Mali game early

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