Controversial AFCON Referee Could Have Died Of Stroke

The referee who blew for full-time early in an Africa Cup of Nations match claims he could have died of heatstroke.

Zambian Janny Sikazwe ended Tunisia’s game against Mali 13 seconds before 90 minutes were up, having previously blown for full-time five minutes early, before checking the timing and restarting the game.

“I have seen people going for duties outside the country and come back in a casket,” he said.

“I was very close to coming back like that.

“I was lucky I didn’t go into a coma. It would have been a very different story.The doctors told me my body was not cooling down. It would have been just a little time before [I would have gone] into a coma, and that would have been the end.

“I think God told me to end the match. He saved me.”

Afcon Referee Sikwaze
The Group F match in Limbe on Wednesday, 12 January concluded in controversy as coaching staff from Tunisia, who were trailing 1-0 and playing against 10 men, ran onto the pitch to confront Sikazwe and his assistants about the early finish.

Cameroon’s topical conditions, which have seen some games played in temperatures over 30C and high humidity, have caused issues at the Nations Cup – with defending champions Algeria citing them as a factor in their opening 0-0 draw with Seirra Leone.

Speaking to Zambian media on his arrival back in the country, Sikazwe said the impact of the weather in Limbe was the reason for his erratic performance in the second half.

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

“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.

Controversial Referee Sikwaze
Controversial Referee Sikwaze

The second half saw several stoppages including two video assistant referee (VAR) reviews, a drinks break and five windows for substitutions, and at least five minutes of injury time would have been expected to have been added on.

However, Sikazwe said he was not able to communicate with the rest of his officiating team.

“I started getting confused. I could not hear anybody,” he said.

“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.”

The day after the Tunisia-Mali game Sikazwe went to hospital for heart, blood and physical tests – but all his results came back normal.

He also received visits at his hotel from Caf president Patrice Motsepe and Andrew Kamanga, the president of the Zambian FA.

Source: Star

South Africans Are Seriously Mocking Ghana After Losing To Morocco In 2021 AFCON


Related Stories