Tunisia’s Football Federation (FTF) has written to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to complain about their game with Mali ending 13 seconds early. The Tunisians were trailing 1-0 when Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe, said to have suffered sunstroke, blew early.
He had already whistled for full-time after 85 minutes, only to notice his error and continue the match. “We will do whatever it takes to defend the rights of the national team,” FTF official Hussein Jenaieh said later. “We are not children.” FTF media officer Kais Reguez refused to go into details when asked about the nature of Tunisia’s complaint, which he did confirm.
“As long as the file is in the hands of the Caf committees, we cannot speak out,” Reguez told BBC Sport Africa. Match referee Sikazwe reportedly had to go to hospital to recover after the match, which is why the fourth official was set to take charge of a failed attempt to restart the game over 20 minutes later. While Mali turned up, Tunisia did not, since some of their players were taking ice baths.
“The referee had sunstroke, which affected his decisions in the game,” Caf refereeing official Essam Abdul Fattah told Egyptian media. “After the game, he needed to go hospital because the weather was so hot.”