Afcon Wrap: ‘Ref blowing whistle too soon was inexplicable’

Tunisia head coach Mondher Kebaier was in shock, stating that he had “never seen anything like it” following the referee’s bizarre decision to blow the final whistle before the clash between the Eagles of Carthage and Mali had been completed on Wednesday.

With 89 minutes and 49 seconds on the clock, Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe ended the match with 10-man Mali sealing a 1-0 win in the coastal town of Limbe. And rightly so, the Tunisians protested, insisting that there were several minutes of stoppage time remaining.

The game resumed, and Mali returned to the field, but the Tunisians refused to get back to the pitch. As a result, the referee blew the final whistle when the Malians kicked off again.

“It is a difficult situation to deal with. The referee also blew with five minutes left in the first half, and then he blew after 89 minutes, denying us practically seven or eight minutes of added time,” said Kebaier.

“His decision is inexplicable. I can’t understand how he made his decision, and we will see what happens now. He blew for full time and asked us to go to the dressing room, so the players were in their ice baths, and then he asked us to come back out. In 30 years in this business, I have never seen anything like it,” added Kebaier.

The drama overshadowed Mali’s perfect start to Afcon in Group F game thanks to Ibrahima Kone’s goal just before the half-time break.

Wednesday, 12 January Results

Thursday, 13 January Fixtures

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