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Mali-Tunisia AFCON game ends in confusion as referee blows whistle too soon

The Africa Cup of Nations match between Mali and Tunisia on Wednesday ended in confusion amid bizarre scenes as the Tunisian team complained that the referee had blown the final whistle too soon.

Janny Sikazwe caused controversy by blowing for full-time five minutes early in the Africa Cup of Nations match between Mali and Tunisia PHOTO: Reuters

The Africa Cup of Nations match between Mali and Tunisia on Wednesday ended in confusion amid bizarre scenes as the Tunisian team complained that the referee had blown the final whistle too soon.

Zambian official Janny Sikazwe blew for the end of the Group F game in Limbe to signal that Mali had beaten the 2004 continental champions 1-0 thanks to Ibrahima Kone’s second-half penalty.

Mali coach Mohamed Magassouba was giving his post-match victory press conference when an official entered the room under the stand to indicate that the game would restart.

A Confederation of African Football official told AFP that the match needed to be played to a conclusion, with three minutes remaining, but the Tunisian team did not re-emerge and the referee brought the game to a definitive end when Mali kicked off again.