World 2022 – Belgium – Canada: Janny Sikazwe, the referee who had whistled the end too early

Her name probably means nothing to you: Janny Sikazwe. But his face, yes, so. But if, remember his cheeks swollen with air and his eyes riveted on his watch when whistling the end of the match between Mali and Tunisia (1-0), last January, during the Cup of Africa of Nations. And twice, even: first in the 85th … then in the 89th minute. Two insane errors which had angered the Tunisians, and in particular their coach Mondher Kebaier, who then kept repeating to the man in black that there were still several minutes to play. Nearly ten months later, the Zambian referee, selected for the World Cup by FIFA, was appointed to whistle the match between Belgium and Canada.

At the time, to justify this huge quack, the boss of the referees of the African Cup of Nations, as well as Wahbi Khazri, affirmed that Janny Sikazwe had suffered a sunstroke. “He was no longer coherentconfided the Tunisian captain. We talked about it between us, we felt that the referee was losing the thread of the match. He was no longer consistent in his choices and decisions. It was very hot. We also had headaches with the heat. But that’s no excuse. Even wanting to come back after… Coming back 20 minutes later is very weird, there were a lot of weird decisions” He hopes to replay the match: “Will we replay the match? It’s also complicated for Mali who were leading. It’s a shame to come to this. We try to put the African foot at the highest level and we are not followed.”

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Little Belgium, precious victory

AN HOUR AGO

Belgium is worried

Despite the reservation expressed after the meeting by its leaders, and after having examined the full report of the match officials, the African Football Confederation however decided not to replay the meeting, thus ending the ordeal of poor Janny Sikazwe. After FIFA’s decision to put him on the Belgium-Canada whistle, articles about the Zambian’s feats of arms quickly flourished in the Belgian press. Some journalists even expressed concern. “This man will be the referee of Belgium-Canada, I feel that I will definitely lose faith in humanity“, quipped our colleague Sacha Tavolieri on Twitter.

Despite this episode, FIFA has decided to summon him among the referees selected for this World Cup“, recalls for his part the DH Sports. “The referee who will lead Belgium – Canada has a heavy past: he stood out during the last African Cup of Nations“, sorry The Free on its website. For this meeting, Sikazwe will be assisted in particular by the Angolan Jerson Dos Santos and the Mozambican Arsenio Marengula, who will be his two linesmen. The Japanese Yoshimi Yamashita will be the fourth referee.

A rather extensive CV

Mocked, criticized, the 43-year-old man in black can however boast a rather extensive CV. Above, it is notably recalled that its FIFA status dates back to 2010, anyway. Then, pell-mell: the final of the African Cup of Nations between Egypt and Cameroon (2017), the final of the Club World Cup between Real Madrid and Kashima Antlers (2016) or even Japan-Poland.. . and Belgium-Panama at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

According to the Transfermarkt site, he has more than a hundred matches as a central referee, including forty in the African Champions League and fifteen in the qualifications for the CAN. He is one of the five African referees of this World Cup in Qatar. Not the first comer, therefore.

This Wednesday, Janny Sikazwe will referee his third World Cup match. And in a competition marked by extended additional time, a request required by FIFA and former referee Gianluigi Collina, the Zambian referee will have to adapt. And above all check your stopwatch before whistling the end of Belgium-Canada. Fortunately, with the air conditioning of the Ahmad-bin-Ali Stadium, the risk of sunstroke is minimal this time…

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