Why Tunisia-Mali AFCON Referring Scandal Likely Wasn’t Match Fixing

Why Tunisia-Mali AFCON Referring Scandal Likely Wasn’t Match Fixing

Posted on: January 13, 2022, 04:46h. 

Final up to date on: January 13, 2022, 05:09h.

The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) match amongst Tunisia and Mali ended in chaos and confusion Wednesday. That’s just after Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe blew his whistle for total time in the 85th minute.

Janny Sikazwe
Tunisia-Mali referee Janny Sikazwe is harangued by Tunisia coach Mondher Kebaier and his specialized workers just after blowing the full-time whistle prematurely for the second time. (Graphic: Metro)

The bizarre and unparalleled incident at the Limbe Stadium in Cameroon sparked protests from Tunisian gamers, who have been trailing 1- immediately after a 48th minute Ibrahima Kone penalty.

Apparently noticing his mistake, Sikazwe restarted the recreation. Then, in the 87th minute, he sent off Mali’s Bilal Toure. It was a straight crimson for a somewhat innocuous foul.

And then he blew the last whistle once more, this time at 89 minutes and 47 seconds.

Hell Breaks Loose

Cue pitch invasion by Tunisia mentor Mondher Kebaier and his complex staff members, who surrounded the formal gesturing furiously at their watches.

Kebaier reported afterwards he experienced anticipated at minimum 6 minutes of additional time outside of the regulation 90, following a 2nd 50 % that had been plagued by stoppages. There have been numerous VAR checks, two penalties (Tunisia skipped), and that bizarre sending-off.

Sikazwe and his fellow match officers were being sooner or later escorted from the pitch by stability for their very own security.

But the weirdness didn’t stop there. Far more than 20 minutes later, gamers had been instructed to get again on the industry to complete the sport, this time with a various referee.

Mali players reappeared, but they had been explained to to leave soon later on because Tunisia was refusing to arrive out.

The stand-in ref then blew the ultimate whistle, awarding Mali the earn.

Kebaier mentioned his gamers experienced been sitting down in post-activity ice baths for 20 minutes and were being accomplished with the complete shitshow. He says he wants the match to be replayed.

But Was it Match-correcting?

The controversy has once once again sparked issue about corruption in intercontinental soccer.

A lot of followers took to social media on Wednesday to speculate that the referee had attempted to finish the recreation early since he experienced been bribed to permit Mali earn, probably by a shadowy gambling syndicate or corrupt Malian officials.

People voices grew louder when it emerged that Sizaswe was investigated and suspended by FIFA for doable corruption in 2018.

This was for the reason that of various dubious conclusions in an African Champions League match involving Esperance and Primiero Agosto. But he was eventually exonerated, and the suspension was lifted three months later on.

And in this circumstance, the corruption concept doesn’t seriously stack up.

Breaking it Down

For a get started, there are subtler strategies for referees to affect soccer games than by finishing them five minutes early, a tactic which is guaranteed to seize headlines all over the world.

And if the repair was in for Mali to get the match, why did Sikazwe award Tunisia a penalty and mail Toure off?

That crimson card was dubious. But if it experienced been pre-purchased by a gambling syndicate, why did it appear immediately after Sikazwe experienced to begin with tried using to conclusion the recreation with no sendings-off?

And if the two penalties were being pre-arranged, why did the referee originally not award them, only to change his intellect immediately after intervention from the video clip assistant referee (VAR)?

Lots of concerns. But in this case, the formal clarification appears to be the most plausible.

AFCON officers explained Thursday the referee has been dealt with in the medical center soon after the recreation for suspected heatstroke and critical dehydration.

It would seem that working all around for 89 minutes and 47 seconds in 93-degree warmth and 65 for each cent humidity in Limbe can do bizarre matters to a man.