There were chaotic scenes at the end of Mali versus Tunisia in the African Cup of Nations on Wednesday afternoon after referee Janny Sikazwe remembered he’d only paid for two-hours parking, it has emerged.
The official sent the Tunisian team and staff into paroxysms of rage that your average VAR can only dream of when he blew for full-time early – not once but twice! – at the Stade Omnisport de Limbe in Cameroon.
And it has since been revealed that delays during the game left the beleaguered official with no choice but to call times early as he’d only paid for two-hours parking for his car outside the ground.
“He was late getting to the stadium and only had a couple of quid in coins when he went to pay for parking,” a source familiar with the situation informed us moments after the final 1-0 result for Mali was confirmed.
Referee Janny Sikazwe ends Tunisia vs Mali early despite two VAR checks, a red card, and a cooling break.
Tunisia, who were trailing 1-0 but with a man advantage, weren’t too happy about it…
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) January 12, 2022
“He knew it’d be tight but thought he’d get in and out in a couple of hours.”
“Then there were the water breaks, injuries, VAR reviews and Mali time-wasting like a team of 11 Sergio Busquets’…”
Panicked by the amount of additional time required, the Zambian whistleblower initially called time on the game five minutes early in an effort to avoid a ticket, but was convinced to resume the game when told the parking attendant was on his tea-break.
“There’s usually a bit of wriggle room if you’re late,” our source explained, “but then the Mali fans started chanting “who’s the b*stard getting clamped?” and he blew it up straight away, asking his assistants for any spare change he had to put in the meter.”
Cue pandemonium on the field as there was still almost half a minute of the 90 to go, plus significant stoppage time.
After Mr Sikazwe had paid for another 30 minutes he returned with the Mali team to resume the game, but Tunisia had decided they’d played enough and refused to return, demanding a different referee oversee the resumption of the game.
Tournament organisers are understood to be in negotiations with Mike Dean to fly out Cameroon and ref the closing second of the game plus injury time at a later date,
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