Referee at centre of Afcon chaos between Mali and Tunisia was suspended over corruption allegations three years ago

Referee at centre of Afcon chaos between Mali and Tunisia was suspended over corruption allegations three years ago

January 14, 2022

THE referee at the centre of the chaos at the Africa Cup of Nations was suspended over corruption allegations three years ago.

Janny Sikazwe blew for full-time after 85 minutes of Mali's clash with Tunisia.

But the game restarted as he rejected a VAR red card review and then ended the game again 20 seconds before the 90-minute mark.

Sikazwe, who had already given two controversial penalties, then needed security to protect him as he exited the pitch before further drama saw Mali come out once more to finish off the match but Tunisia never reappeared.

Now it has emerged the Afcon debacle is not the first time the referee's performance has led to widespread attention.

The Daily Mail report the Zambian official got banned by the Caf – African football's governing body – following an African Champions League semi-final between Esperance and Primiero Agosto.

Esperance won the match 4-2 on the night in October 2018.

But their opening goal came as a result of a questionable penalty awarded by Sikazwe.

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And Agosto were left fuming when they had a goal of their own ruled out for an alleged foul on the opposition goalkeeper.

Sikazwe was investigated and duly punished for his display.

The Caf disciplinary board ruled: "The chairman of the Caf Disciplinary Board decides that there is good ground to hold a hearing regarding allegations of corruption made against Mr Janny Sikazwe.

"Mr Janny Sikazwe is provisionally suspended from all football activities related to Caf pending a hearing before Caf Disciplinary Board."

The ban came into force in November 2018 but was lifted by Fifa two months later.

Just four months before his fateful Champions League nightmare, Sikazwe took charge of two matches at the World Cup in Russia.

The part-time teacher refereed Belgium vs Panama on June 18 then Japan vs Poland ten days later.


Controversy also reigned when Sikazwe was in the middle for the 2016 Club World Cup final between Real Madrid and Kashima Antlers.

When Sergio Ramos brought down an opponent having already been booked, the Zambian reached for a second yellow card and called the Galacticos captain over.

But he then put his hand back in his pocket and bizarrely chose not to send Ramos off.

Sikazwe subsequently said the decision was down to miscommunication and as he misheard his assistant over his earpiece, thinking he had called for a card when he actually said 'foul, no card'.

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