The Tunisian Football Federation (FTF) has lodged a complaint to the Confederation of African Football (CAF), over poor officiating during their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) game against Mali, that ended prematurely.
The 2004 champions were trailing 1-0 when Zambian referee, Janny Sikazwe, ended the game 13 seconds early.
This was the second time the referee had blown the final whistle. The official had previously whistled for full-time after 85 minutes before he rescinded the decision, amidst protests from the Tunisian technical bench.
Prior to that, the referee had awarded disputed penalties to both teams, before controversially sending off Mali’s El Bilal Toure for a straight red card, for an innocuous challenge on his opponent.
“We will do whatever it takes to defend the rights of the national team,” FTF official Hussein Jenaieh said.
“We are not children.”
FTF media officer, Kais Reguez, said that the Eagles have already filed a complaint to the continental football governing body.
“As long as the file is in the hands of the CAF committees, we cannot speak out,” Reguez told BBC Sport Africa.
Sikazwe, who reportedly suffered heatstroke during the game, was rushed to the hospital to recover after the match, leaving the fourth official to take charge of a failed attempt to restart the game over 20 minutes later.
While Mali came back out, the Tunisia players refused to return to the pitch.
“The referee had sunstroke, which affected his decisions in the game,” CAF refereeing official, Essam Abdul Fattah, told Egyptian media. “After the game, he needed to go to hospital because the weather was so hot.”
CAF said on Thursday that it is still waiting for further details from the various match officials before commentating on the matter regarding the heat in Cameroon.
“CAF is forwarding these documents to the competent bodies of CAF,” the body said in a statement.
“At this stage, CAF is not in a position to make further comment, until the responsible bodies indicate the way forward.”