Mali v Tunisia chaos: Brighton midfielder and Southampton star caught in AFCON final whistle mayhem

Brighton and Hove Albion Mali international midfielder Yves Bissouma was involved in one of the more bizarre incidents at the Africa Cup of Nations

Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 7:05 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 7:08 pm
Mali's forward Ibrahima Kone celebrates after scoring a goal during the Group F Africa Cup of Nations match against Tunisia

The final whistle was blown early twice as Mali claimed a 1-0 victory over Tunisia in a chaotic Africa Cup of Nations clash on Wednesday.

In extraordinary scenes in Limbe, Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe controversially blew for full time in the 86th minute and then again with 89 minutes and 44 seconds on the clock.

In the first instance, the mistake was quickly corrected and the game resumed, but the second seemed terminal and Tunisia angrily left the field amid much protest and confusion.

Dramatically, the players were ordered to return to the field to play out the closing seconds and injury time half an hour later, but Tunisia declined.

Ten-man Mali were therefore declared the winners, courtesy of an Ibrahima Kone penalty in the 48th minute awarded for handball.

Tunisia did have the chance to equalise with a penalty of their own in the second half after Southampton’s Moussa Djenepo was also penalised for handball, but Ibrahim Mounkoro saved from Wahbi Khazri.

Tunisia reacted furiously when the final whistle was blown for the first time but the game did restart.

Their hopes of snatching something from the game then improved when Mali’s El Bilal Toure was sent off for a bad challenge on Dylan Bronn.

More confusion was to follow, however, after the final whistle was blown prematurely again.