Mali’s footballers have triumphed into the African Nations Cup in Cameroon. In the opening duel of Group F, they managed to compete with Tunisia at the stadium in Limbe 1-0, the only goal scored by Ibrahim Koné. The match culminated in a scandal, as the referee tried to end it twice prematurely.
Zambian judge Janny Sikazwe, who was already deciding at the World Cup 2018, for the first time wrongly whistled the end in the 85th minute. When the game continued, he repeated his mistake and ended the match a minute before the regular playing time expired.
Although the losing Tunisia protested, the match actually ended in the 89th minute and the award for the best player was awarded. Once the post-match press conferences were in full swing, the governing African confederation CAF decided to finish the remaining minutes.
About 40 minutes after the whistle, the Mali footballers came to the finish line, but the Tunisians refused and the Sikazwe match for the third time and definitively ended. “The players were already in the ice bath when they called them back,” said Tunisian coach Mundhir Kabáiar. “I’ve been training for a long time, but I’ve never experienced anything like it. Even the fourth referee was about to pick up the board (to show how many minutes of the set time to play) and suddenly it was over,” he added.
The decision was made by Mali in the 48th minute, in which the striker of the Norwegian Sarpsborg Koné turned the penalty into the penalty area with an overview. The fourth team of the last championship was able to equalize in the 77th minute, but the Tunisian captain Chazrí failed from the white point. A short power play after the elimination of El Bilal Touré did not help the “Eagles of Carthage” to settle.
The second match of Group F between the Gambia and Mauritania was not without confusion. In three attempts, the organizers did not play the Mauritanians’ correct anthem, valid for the last four years, but its old version. The Gambia’s debut tournament rejoiced at the tournament, winning 1-0 thanks to Ablie Jallow’s 10th minute goal.
Already in ten matches of the championship, the spectators did not see more than one goal, with the exception of the opening match Cameroon – Burkina Faso (2: 1).