Tunisia vs Mali AFCON game ends a shambles as bungling ref calls time early before restart mid press conference

By Matthew Fulton

An Africa Cup of Nations group game descended into chaos, after the referee blew for the full time whistle before the end of 90 minutes.

The opening game of Group F saw Mali secure a narrow 1-0 win over Tunisia thanks to a goal from Ibrahima Kone from the penalty spot in the 48th minute.

Tunisia also had a penalty saved by Mali goalkeeper Ibrahima Mounkoro 13 minutes from time, before match officials had to escorted off of the pitch after the referee appeared to blow for full-time before the end of 90 minutes, drawing scenes of chaos from the Tunisian bench.

Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe initially blew for the end of the game with 85 minutes on the clock, before playing on, in a game that included multiple stoppages including two checks for VAR incidents and a red card.

Mali boss Mohamed Magassouba was in the middle of his post-match press conference when officials from the CAF burst in to inform him that play would restart.

Though the final minutes of the match were played and his side had 10 men, Tunisia could not find a way to draw level amid chaotic scenes.

The result means this is the seventh 1-0 victory of the AFCON so far, with only ten games played to date.

Rangers star Joe Aribo helped Nigeria to a 1-0 victory over Mo Salah's Egypt side yesterday, as the Light Blues' winger set up an assist for Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho to finish.

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