Major football games tend to produce moments of magic, but there is also potential for chaos, as witnessed in the game between Tunisia and Mali at the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2021.
There were incredible scenes during Mali’s 1-0 win over Tunisia at the AFCON as the referee twice blew for full-time before the end of the match – thereby cutting short any hopes of Tunisia mounting a comeback.
The match official Janny Sikazwe from Zimbabwe, signalled the end of the match and a 1-0 win for 10-man Mali in the coastal town of Limbe with the clock showing 89 minutes and 47 seconds.
The Tunisians furiously protested that there were several minutes of stoppage time still to play.
With confusion reigning, Mali coach Mohamed Magassouba was midway through his press conference when tournament officials came in to informed that the game would start again.
Mali returned to the field but the Tunisians did not re-emerge, and so the referee brought the game to a definitive conclusion when the Malians kicked off again.
Tunisia coach, Mondher Kebaier, whose team had an extra man at the end after Mali’s El Bilal Toure was sent off said: “It is a difficult situation to deal with. The referee also blew with five minutes left in the first half and then he blew after 89 minutes, denying us practically seven or eight minutes of added time.
“His decision is inexplicable. I can’t understand how he made his decision and we will see what happens now.”
However, the Tunisian team’s refusal to return to the pitch could expose them to further sanctions from the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
“He blew for full time and asked us to go to the dressing room, so the players were in their ice baths and then he asked us to come back out.
“In 30 years in this business, I have never seen anything like it,” Kebaier added.
The astonishing scenes overshadowed what should have been a proud day for Mali, who won the Group F game thanks to Ibrahima Kone’s penalty just after half-time.
Tunisia had the chance to equalise but Wahbi Khazri’s spot-kick at the other end was saved with the game in the final quarter of an hour.
Mali coach, Mohamed Magassouba, said: “These are administrative questions. We were told to go back on the pitch because the game was not finished,” said Magassouba.
“Unfortunately the opposition team did not want to come back out and the final whistle was blown.”
The day’s other Group F match, between Mauritania and Gambia at the same venue, was delayed by 45 minutes from its scheduled 1600 GMT start due to the earlier confusion.
2025 AFCON: Nigeria-Benin, Four Other Nations Bid To Host
Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Zambia, and Benin-Nigeria want to replace Guinea as hosts of the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations, CAF president Patrice Motsepe confirmed on Saturday.
Guinea, chosen in 2014 to stage the premier African national team tournament, withdrew last year after little progress had been made in preparing for the biennial event.
CAF officials will do inspection tours of all the candidates this month with the winners to be announced on February 10 this year.
South African billionaire businessman Motsepe said the successful country or countries would offer the best “transport, logistics, hotels and beautiful stadiums”.
“Each region will have a chance to organise a CAN (Cup of Nations). We cannot assign the organisation of the CAN successively to the same region.”
Benin and Nigeria are in west Africa, as are the Ivory Coast, who will host the 2023 Cup of Nations.
AFRDC 2023: Irabor tees off golf tournament in Abuja
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor on Friday in Abuja, teed off golf kitty tournament to mark the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration.
Irabor, represented by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, said the tournament was organised in partnership with the Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF) to celebrate the retired and fallen heroes.
He said the event was significant in remembering the nation’s fallen heroes who had paid the supreme price for defending Nigeria and those still alive who gave their best in service to the nation.
He said that there were other sporting activities organised to mark the day, adding that it was the first time the armed force would partner with NGF to organise a golf tournament.
He said that apart from golf, many other sport activities were also lined up for the occasion.
Also, Otumba Olusegun Runsewe, the President of NGF and Director-General, National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC), commended the CDS for approving the partnership for the tournament.
Runsewe said there was the need to celebrate those that laid down their lives for the peace and unity of Nigeria.
He said that Nigeria had moved to the next level of golf development in line with international standard.
According to him, the International Standard is that any measure on a golf course must be branded.
“So, I’m happy to show you that if you go on the course now every measure has this international standard.
“We have 250 Pro golfers from professionals, amateurs, women among others, and it is an 18 hole golf course.
“I want to assure you that with this partnership, we are going to open more windows in Nigeria,” he said.
Similarly, the Director, Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Jimmy Akpor, said the tournament was organised to honour the fallen heroes who had paid the supreme price to keep Nigeria together.
Akpor said that there were living veterans as well as those who bore the scars of war and operations and the handicapped.
He said that the sporting activities were about building consciousness of the military and supporting them to continue to be the pride of the nation.
“So, while we are here doing this golf kitty, we also have those who are injured who are also playing a game at the National Stadium as we speak.
“They are playing the Citizen sitting volleyball and Wheelchair basketball,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)reports that the injured and soldiers living with disability known as Invictus team played citizens sitting volleyball match with the FCT team at the indoor arena of the National Stadium.
Ekiti FA Hails Bamidele on MOB CUP Championship
……. charges organizing Committee to maintain good
The Ekiti State Football Association has lauded Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele popularly known as MOB for the ongoing MOB Unity Cup across the Ekiti Central Senatorial District.
Chairman, Ekiti State Football Association, Bayo Olanlege commended the Title sponsor Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele for creating the platform to keep the youth busy and positively engaged during the yuletide in his constituency.
“Our distinguished Senator has done well for Ekiti youth in his constituency, dolling out cash to organize a competition of that magnitude is something worth commending”
Olanlege further congratulated the organizing committee headed by the Chairman, Ekiti State Coaches Association, Mr. Kehinde Anjorin, the young and vibrant Femi FACOM Popoola, the ever articulate Mayowa Afolabi and others doing a very good job in ensuring proper coordination of the tournament across all the centers.
He charged the committee to keep up the good job and improve on the foundation laid at the local football council level as the stage is set for the inter local football councils after the draws.
The MOB Unity Cup competition is underway across five local government covering the Ekiti Central Senatorial District which includes – Ado, Efon, Ekiti West, Ijero and Irepodun/Ifelodun LGAs.
According to the organizer the third place and final matches of the championship are billed for January 30th and February 4th,2023 respectively in Ado Ekiti, the State Capital
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