Africa Cup of Nations underway
The African Cup of Nations got underway this week after being delayed from 2021 due to COVID-19.
Already there have been a string of shocks (including Egypt losing their opening group game) as well as heroes being discovered, such as the unorthodox Sierra Leone goalkeeper, who earned his side a draw, in what is proving to be a fascinating if low-scoring tournament.
Today was Sierra Leone’s first AFCON match since 1996
and their goalie BALLED OUT pic.twitter.com/IVUpCgQCvt
— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) January 12, 2022
For information on how to watch every single game of the tournament, click below:
Bizarre events in Tunisia vs Mali game
And now, some truly extraordinary scenes have been forthcoming in the group game between Mali and Tunisia, the first game each side is playing at the competition.
First, the referee blew the full-time whistle after just 85 minutes of the game had been played, with the score 1-0 to Mali.
Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe blew the full time whistle at 85 minutes then restarted the game and blew it again in the 89th minute.
— Usher Komugisha (@UsherKomugisha) January 12, 2022
Then, seemingly realising his mistake, he allowed play to continue. But, with 20 seconds still on the clock before any potential added time, of which there was expected to be plenty, the referee brought a halt to proceedings for a second time, this time for good.
The referee blows the whistle before the 90 minutes are up…
VAR checks, two penalties and a red card… no stoppage time?!
It ends Tunisia 0-1 Mali 👀 pic.twitter.com/tPoiw7ZNGX
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) January 12, 2022
This comes despite the fact that there were several VAR checks, a red card as well as two penalties, those officiating the game seemed to deem no extra time was warranted, to the confusion and anger of the playing and coaching staff on the side of Tunisia, who were still chasing the game.
Tunisia v Mali
– VAR review for a penalty, given (pen missed)
– Ref blows for full-time on 85 minutes
– Play does restart
– Player sent off
– VAR tells the ref it’s not a red
– Ref rejects the red review (it was never a red card)
– Ref blows for full time on 89.40
— Dale Johnson (@DaleJohnsonESPN) January 12, 2022
Hopefully, the officiating will improve and not spoil what has been a captivating tournament so far.