AFCON 2022: Referee ends Mali vs Tunisia match twice, hands out controversial red card before full time

For Tunisia on Wednesday in the AFCON, the inexplicable happened. The referee blew for the full-time whistle twice before 90 minutes.

Tunisia manager Mondher Kebaier was left furious with the referee, Image credit: Twitter

The AFCON descended into chaos on Wednesday as the referee blew the full-time whistle twice before 90 minutes had been played. Tunisia refused to return to the pitch, but made their way out 40 minutes later in protest despite having lost 1-0 to Mali. Mali striker Ibrahima Kone scored a second-half penalty to seal a 1-0 victory over Tunisia, who missed a spot kick of their own in a Group F game that ended in controversy.

Read more: EPL – Southampton thrash Brentford


It was a tale of two penalties as Mali’s Kone converted his attempt after a handball by Ellyes Skhiri, but Tunisia’s Wahbi Khazri could not follow as his effort was saved by Mali goalkeeper Ibrahim Mounkoro 13 minutes from time.

Zambia referee Janny Sikazwe initially blew for the end of the game with 85 minutes on the clock, his time keeping was obviously poor. But after correcting himself he still ended the match in the 90th minute, despite a number of stoppages in the second half, including two VAR checks.

After a dull first half, Mali made a bright start to the second and after just a minute they were awarded a penalty when Boubacar Kiki Kouyate’s shot struck the hand of Ellyes as the Tunisia midfielder turned his back on the ball. Kone stepped up to easily convert the penalty and give his side the lead.

Dylan Bronn forced a save out of Mali goalkeeper Mounkoro with a 35-yard drive that was pushed away for a corner, but Tunisia had an even better chance to equalise. It was Moussa Djenepo who handled the ball this time and after consulting VAR, Sikazwe awarded the spot kick. But Khazri’s fierce shot was beaten away by Mounkoro as the keeper made an excellent stop.

Read more: Ralf Rangnick praises Scott McTominay’s ‘leadership skills’

Mali finished the game with 10 players after a harsh red card for El Bilal Toure when he challenged for the ball with Dylan Bronn and was fractionally late. Sikazwe, who officiated at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, had already blown once for full time by then, his timekeeping was out by at least five minutes. And when he ended the game again before the clock ticked round to 90 minutes, the Tunisian bench erupted in fury and raced onto the pitch to confront him as scuffles broke out.

Sportslumo Desk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *