The World Football Association FIFA appointed Janny Sikazwe as referee for the first group match of the Red Devils on Monday. The Zambian is by no means an undisputed figure.
Hannes Van Gael
The 43-year-old Sikazwe is an experienced referee. He has been a member of FIFA since 2007 and will start his second World Cup on Wednesday. Four years ago in Russia, he also led the first match of the Red Devils, the 3-0 victory against Panama. Later that tournament he was the ref at Japan-Poland (0-1). He also refereed the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations final between Egypt and Cameroon (1-2).
Sikazwe will receive the Angolan Jerson dos Santos and the Mozambican Arsenio Marengula as assistants on Wednesday evening. The Japanese Yoshima Yamashita is the fourth ref.
Finished in minute 85
But in the 2021 Africa Cup, the experienced Sikazwe went badly wrong. For example, he whistled the match between Mali and Tunisia five minutes early. After loud protest, there was still some play, but again the referee whistled too early, in minute 89.
In addition, Janny Sikazwe was suspended in 2018 on suspicion of corruption during an African Champions League match.
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