Janny Sikazwe breaks silence on Afcon controversy, explains why he ended Mali, Tunisia game prematurely

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Janny Sikazwe has blamed high temperatures in Cameroon for his controversial officiating in the Group F match between Mali vs Tunisia at the Afcon 2021.

The Zambian referee blew to end the contest with five minutes of regulation left to play.

After protests from the Tunisia players and officials, Sikazwe resumed the game and blew again to end it in the 89th minute.

Speaking to reporters on his arrival back home from the tournament, Sikazwe explained:

“The weather was so hot, and the humidity was about 85%.

“After the warm-up I felt the [conditions] were something else. We were trying to drink water but you could not feel the water quenching you – nothing.

“But we [match officials] believe we are soldiers and we go and fight.

“Everything I was putting on was hot. Even the communication equipment, I wanted to throw it away. It was so hot.”

The referee added: “I started getting confused. I could not hear anybody.

“I reached the point where I could start hearing some noise and I thought someone was communicating with me and people were telling me ‘no you ended the match’. It was a very strange situation.

“I was going through my head to find who told me to end the match. Maybe I was talking to myself, I don’t know. That is how bad the situation was.”

Sikazwe continued officiating at Afcon 2021 and was a video assistant referee for the group match between Gabon and Morocco.