The head of the committee of referees of the Egyptian Football Association, Essam Abdelfatah, assured this Thursday in a radio program in his country that the Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe whistled the end of the Tunisia-Mali match twice before regulation time because «he suffered heat stroke and dehydration», for which he was later hospitalized.
Essam told the program Maa Shobeir on the ON Sport FM radio station that Sikazwe suffered from sunstroke because «the match was at half past two in the afternoon and it is very hot and humid there,» he said, referring to Cameroon, the venue for the edition of the African 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 on two occasions, in the 85th minute and in the 89th.
«This is why the fuss was made. The players went out and re-entered the field hoping to continue, but in the end they had to take the referee to the hospital, according to a medical report that came out later,» Abdelfatah said.
Only Mali appeared again
Forty minutes after the end of the clash, the Malian players took the field again to dispute the remaining time to play.
The Tunisian team did not do it, and did not return to the field of play, nor did the referee Janny Sikazwe, who was replaced by the fourth referee, the one in charge of definitively ending the match that Mali won by one to zero .