Mon. Aug 15th, 2022

Tunisia coach Mondher Kebaier said he had “never seen anything like it” after the referee in his side’s Africa Cup of Nations opener against Mali on Wednesday blew the final whistle before the game had been completed.

Zambian official Janny Sikazwe signalled the end of the match and a 1-0 win for 10-man Mali in the coastal town of Limbe with the clock showing 89 minutes and 47 seconds.

Watch the world’s best footballers every week with beIN SPORTS on Kayo. LIVE coverage from LaLiga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A, Carabao Cup, EFL & SPFL. New to Kayo? Start Your Free Trial >

The Tunisians furiously protested that there were several minutes of stoppage time still to play.

With confusion reigning, Mali coach Mohamed Magassouba was giving his post-match victory press conference when an official entered the room under the stand to indicate that the game would restart and that three minutes still remained.

Mali returned to the field but the Tunisians did not re-emerge, and so the referee brought the game to a definitive conclusion 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,” claimed Kebaier, whose team had an extra man at the end after Mali’s El Bilal Toure was sent off.

WATCH THE VIDEO IN THE PLAYER ABOVE

“His decision is inexplicable. I can’t understand how he made his decision and we will see what happens now.”

However, the Tunisian team’s refusal to return to the pitch could expose them to further sanctions from the Confederation of African Football.

“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,” Kebaier added.

“In 30 years in this business I have never seen anything like it.”

MORE COVERAGE

“It’s in their hands”: Salah breaks silence on ugly $565k-per-WEEK standoff

“No holds barred”: $101m flop set for exit as Conte delivers brutal Spurs verdict

PL Mid-Season Report Card: Powerhouse’s $180m smoking gun; Ronaldo truth Utd can’t ignore

Security was forced to intervene as the Tunisian camp continued to remonstrate with the referee. Picture: Supplied
Security was forced to intervene as the Tunisian camp continued to remonstrate with the referee. Picture: SuppliedSource: Supplied

The astonishing scenes overshadowed what should have been a proud day for Mali, who won the Group F game thanks to Ibrahima Kone’s penalty just after half-time.

Tunisia had the chance to equalise but Wahbi Khazri’s spot-kick at the other end was saved with the game in the final quarter of an hour.

“These are administrative questions. We were told to go back on the pitch because the game was not finished,” said Magassouba.

“Unfortunately the opposition team did not want to come back out and the final whistle was blown.”

Source link

By sports

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.