AFCON 2021: Referee sparks controversy as he ends Mali-Tunisia game on 85th minute

Mali beat Tunisia 1-0 at AFCON 2021 in a Group F game which ended in controversy.

Carthage Eagles coach Mondher Kebaier and his technical staff rushed onto the field at full-time after referee Janny Sikazwe failed to add any injury time.

The second half saw two stoppages for video assistant referee checks, as well as a drinks break.

Ibrahima Kone’s penalty won it, with Mali keeper Ibrahim Mounkoro later saving a spot-kick from Wahbi Khazri.

There had already been confusion in the Limbe Stadium as Sikazwe had appeared to blow his full-time whistle with five minutes remaining.

Kebaier and his staff angrily confronted the Zambian official and his assistants on the pitch, pointing to their watches and remonstrating about the lack of added time.

Sikazwe had taken time at the VAR monitor before awarding Tunisia a penalty after Khazri’s cross flicked the hand of Moussa Djenepo, with over two minutes elapsing between the incident and the ball being placed on the spot.

There was also a cooling drinks break after Mounkoro dived to his right to push away Khazri’s well-struck penalty, and the referee returned to consult VAR after brandishing a red card to Mali substitute El Bilal Toure late on.

The second 45 minutes had also seen several substitutions in five separate windows.

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