Mali’s victory over Tunisia will stand at the Africa Cup of Nations despite the referee causing chaos by twice blowing the final whistle too early.
The tournament’s organising committee met late Thursday in Cameroon to ratify Mali’s 1-0 Group F win the previous day after Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe’s errors sparked confusion and anger.
Sikazwe initially blew for the end of the game with 85 minutes on the clock, his timekeeping obviously letting him down. But after correcting himself he still ended the match in the 90th minute, despite a number of stoppages in the second half, including two VAR checks.
Tunisia were furious and officials stormed the pitch in protest, but the man of the match trophy was handed out and the post-match news conferences in full swing before Confederation of African Football (CAF) officials decided the remaining minutes should be played.
Tunisia lodged an official protest over Sikazwe’s actions with CAF but after examining their appeal and all of the match officials report, CAF said in a statement:
“The organising committee has decided to dismiss the protest lodged by the Tunisian team. To homologate the match result as 1-0 in favour of Mali.”