Referee behind chaos at AFCON was rushed to hospital after match

The referee ended the Tunisia vs Mali earlier than usual.

Referee behind chaos at AFCON was rushed to hospital after match

Janny Sikazwe, the referee at the centre of the Africa Cup of Nations controversy, was taken to hospital after suffering from heatstroke and dehydration during the game between Tunisia and Mali.

Essam Abdel-Fatah, who is the head of referees at AFCON, confirmed to Egyptian media that Sikazwe had suffered from heatstroke and ‘severe dehydration’ during the match and was subsequently taken to hospital in Limbe, Cameroon.

"It caused him to lose time in the 80th minute, and he ended the match in the 85th minute. He returned after directions from the assistant staff and then returned to finish the match in the 89th minute.

When the crisis occurred and the objections and control were lost in the match, the fourth referee was the one who was going to complete the match [instead of Sikazwe], but one of the two teams refused," Abdel-Fatah told MBC Egypt’s Al-Laib.

The information comes after Confederation of African Football (CAF) revealed it was “gathering all the necessary reports” from the controversial Group F match played on Wednesday, January 12.

Tunisia have appealed for the their first match in Group F to be replayed after Sikazwe blew for full time in the 85th minute but then allowed the game to continue before he ended the match 17 seconds before the 90-minute mark.

CAF said it would forward the documents to the relevant bodies within the continental organisation and could not comment further.

Mali came back out onto the pitch 40 minutes after the controversy began, but Tunisia refused to play on and Sikazwe ended the game for a third time.

The match was a tale of two penalties as Mali forward Ibrahima Kone converted his attempt, but Tunisia's Wahbi Khazri could not follow suit as his effort was saved by goalkeeper Ibrahima Mounkoro 13 minutes from time.

Sikazwe sent off Mali striker El Bilal Toure when he was fractionally late making a challenge in what looked a harsh decision.

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