The Africa Cup of Nations descended into chaos on Tuesday after farcical scenes involving the referee in Mali’s controversial 1-0 win over Tunisia.
Official Janny Sikazwe blew the final whistle after just 85 minutes before restarting play, but then blew again with just 89 minutes and 43 seconds of the Group F clash gone.
His mistake drew a furious reaction from Tunisia’s bench, with boss Mondher Kebaier furiously grabbing the arm of the Zambian referee and pointing to his watch in the immediate aftermath of the full-time whistle.
The Tunisia head coach was then joined by his backroom staff in protesting, with Kebaier confronting one of the linesmen to complain about the game being brought to a premature end with his side losing 1-0.
Security staff had to surround Sikazwe, who refereed at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and his two officials at the Limbe Stadium in Cameroon in order to keep angry Tunisia staff away from them.
Mali coach Mohamed Magassouba’s post-match press conference was later interrupted, with Confederation of African Football officials barging in and saying the match would be restarted to play out the final three minutes.
Fans were then seen filing back into the stands as the officials discussed the bizarre situation on the touchline.
However, in a final dramatic twist, Tunisia appeared to refuse to come out and play the remainder of the game, although referee Sikazwe and Mali did wait for them on the pitch.