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Football

Referee who ended AFCON match early to take charge of Belgium vs. Canada at the World Cup

Nasir Jabbar

Published 
| Last updated 

Referee who ended AFCON match early to take charge of Belgium vs. Canada at the World Cup

Remember Janny Sikazwe? The referee who ended an AFCON match early? Well, he's set to make his first appearance of the 2022 World Cup TONIGHT.

The Zambian official caused carnage during the AFCON meeting between Tunisia and Mali back in January.

He blew his final whistle early on not one but TWO occasions. He first ended the match five minutes before time and then blew for full-time 13 seconds before the full 90 minutes was up.

Despite his mistake, Sikazwe will officiate a group stage game at the World Cup.

The 42-year-old is set to make his debut in Qatar when he takes charge of the Group F clash between Belgium and Canada.

Janny Sikazwe at the centre of controversy during AFCON. Image: Alamy
Janny Sikazwe at the centre of controversy during AFCON. Image: Alamy

Needless to say, Sikazwe overseeing a match at the World Cup sent social media wild.

One Twitter user wrote: "Sikazwe, the referee that stopped the AFCON match in the 85th minute, which later resumed but didn’t have any stoppage time. This should be fun."

A second joked: "The legend Janny Sikazwe will be taking control of Canada vs. Belgium tonight."

A third added: "This is a disgrace, I thought Only the best referees went to the World Cup? How come Sikazwe is officiating???"

Another commented: "How on earth is a man who stopped a game 5 minutes early reffing at a World Cup."

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With FIFA cracking down on time-wasting at the World Cup, the spotlight will be on Sikazwe to see if he continues the trend this tournament.

Legendary referee Pierluigi Collina, who's the chairman of the FIFA referees committee, said: "We told everybody to not be surprised if they see the fourth official raising the electronic board with a big number on it, six, seven or eight minutes.

"If you want more active time, we need to be ready to see this kind of additional time given. Think of a match with three goals scored. A celebration normally takes one, one and a half minutes, so with three goals scored, you lose five or six minutes.

"What we want to do is accurately calculate the added time at the end of each half. It can be the fourth official to do that, we were successful in Russia [2018] and we expect the same in Qatar.

"I am not talking about VAR intervention, this is something which is different and calculated by the Video Assistant Referee in a very precise way."

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/PA/AFCON

Topics: Football World Cup, Football

Nasir Jabbar
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