Published on : 14/01/2022 – 10:14
The Mali-Tunisia match (1-0) of the Africa Cup of Nations had an incredible end, with a premature final whistle which angered the Tunisians. The result of the match was however validated Thursday evening by the African Football Confederation.
The African Football Confederation (CAF) confirmed, on the night of Thursday 13 to Friday 14 January, Mali’s victory against Tunisia (1-0). The match was cut short by a few minutes by the referee, causing a scandal and the anger of the Tunisians. This incident tarnished the image of an African Cup of Nations (CAN) already battered by the waltz of positive tests and forfeits of players.
The images of the Tunisians furious with Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe, who whistled the end of the match too early, with extra time left to equalize, have traveled the football world.
This gesture of the referee is “inexplicable” according to the coach of the “Eagles of Carthage” Mondher Kebaier, and was deemed “scandalous” by the Tunisian press.
The referee was probably the victim of discomfort, by 35 ° C and 65% humidity in the early afternoon, according to a source at CAF, which would explain his error.
“This is unheard of”
For Patrice Neveu, Gabon coach, this incident “is more than bad for the image of the tournament. It’s unheard of. Even though the referee whistles too early, his assistants or the VAR can signal him” .
Nephew, positive for the Covid, illustrates with his body defending another concern of the CAN, faced like the rest of the planet with the pandemic. In addition to the fact that the requirement for health passes does not help fill the stadiums, which are very empty, except for the host country and in Garoua, thanks to Nigerian neighbors, it disrupts the competition.
More serious, an exchange of gunfire in the city of Buea on Wednesday between separatists from the English-speaking West and the military, recalls the tension that reigns in Cameroon, in this area as in the North threatened by Boko Haram.
The CAN suffers from a little lack of preparation, the workers are still busy at the brand new Olembé stadium, in Yaoundé, to pull the last wires and put up the last signposts.
And the stadiums are almost empty, except for the Cameroon-Burkina Faso opening match and for Nigeria-Egypt, a shock in Garoua, near the Nigerian border. Thursday, the host country played against Ethiopia in front of a very modest room, a popular failure.
Before, the tournament had already been depreciated by the reluctance of European clubs to let go of their African internationals. The holding of the competition itself had been questioned. The brand new president of the Cameroon Football Federation (Fécafoot), ex-star Samuel Eto’o, had to step up to the plate to impose that the CAN be played in Cameroon, on the scheduled dates.