A formal complaint lodged by Tunisia’s Football Federation (FTF) about their game with Mali ending 13 seconds early was on Thursday dismissed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
The Organising Committee of the Africa Cup of Nations after a meeting decided “To dismiss the protest lodged by the Tunisian team and “to homologate the match result as 1-0 in favour of Mali.” The committee gave no further explanation.
Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe in defense to blowing the whistle early said he suffered sunstroke.
He first signaled for full-time on 85 minutes, and then ended the match when the clock showed 89 minutes and 47 seconds, and without adding on any additional time for stoppages.
Earlier on Thursday, FTF official Hussein Jenaieh had insisted: “We will do whatever it takes to defend the rights of the national team. We are not children.”
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.
Sikazwe refereed two group-stage matches at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and took charge of the 2017 Nations Cup final.