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The AFCON's head of referees has claimed official Janny Sikazwe controversially blew the whistle early on TWO different occasions in the Tunisia vs Mali game because he "suffered from heat stroke and very severe dehydration".
The group game on Wednesday ended in utter chaos when man in the middle Sikazwe called time earlier than normal.
He first did so in the 85th minute before realising his error, but then ended the match with 89 minutes on the clock.
Tunisia were absolutely livid as they were hopeful some stoppage time would give them a chance to cancel out Ibrahima Kone's first half spot-kick.
SCENES!! 🤯🤯— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) January 12, 2022
The referee blows the whistle before the 90 minutes are up...
VAR checks, two penalties and a red card... no stoppage time?!
It ends Tunisia 0-1 Mali 👀 pic.twitter.com/tPoiw7ZNGX
Mondher Kebaier was on the pitch and giving it to Sikazwe, who was protected by security.
Mali came back out to play out the remaining minutes, with a new referee present, but Tunisia never returned from the dressing room and so the game finished 1-0.
But Essam Abdel-Fatah says Zambian ref Sikazwe was taken to hospital after struggling in the 34-degree heat.
"The referee suffered from heat stroke and very severe dehydration, which led to him losing focus and was taken to the hospital,’ he told MBC Egypt’s Al-Laib, as per Metro.
‘"t caused him to lose time in the 80th minute, and he ended the match in the 85th minute. He returned after directions from the assistant staff and then returned to finish the match in the 89th minute.
"When the crisis occurred and the objections and control were lost in the match, the fourth referee was the one who was going to complete the match, but one of the two teams refused."
The game in Limbe, Cameroon, was packed with incident - including two penalties, red card and a whole lot of VAR action.
In light of the events, it's emerged that Sikazwe was suspended in 2018 over corruption allegations.
The ban was imposed following on from an African Champions League semi final match between Esperance and Primeiro Agosto and specifically a couple of controversial decisions.
Featured Image Credit: Image: Sky Sports
Topics: Africa Cup Of Nations
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