The head of the referee committee of the Egyptian Football Association, Essam Abdelfatah, assured this Thursday in an Egyptian radio program that the Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe whistled the end of the Tunisia-Mali match twice ahead of time because “he suffered heat stroke and dehydration”, for which he was subsequently hospitalized.
Essam told the Maa Shobeir program of the ON Sport FM station that Sikazwe suffered a heat stroke because “the match was at two thirty in the afternoon and it is extremely hot and humid there,” he said in reference to Cameroon, the venue for the current edition of the Africa Cup of Nations.
He assured that this was the reason why “he completely lost his concentration in the 80th minute” and, from then on, he whistled the end of the match twice, in the 85th minute and in the 89th minute.
“This is why the fuss was made. The players went out and re-entered the field in the hope of continuing, but in the end they had to take the referee to the hospital, according to a medical report that came out later,” said Abdelfatah.
Forty minutes after the end of the clash, the Malian players jumped onto the field again to dispute the time remaining to play.
The Tunisian team did not do so, and they did not return to the pitch, nor did the referee Janny Sikazwe, who was replaced by the fourth official, the one in charge of definitively ending the match that Mali took by one to zero. .