Janny Sikazwe: Zambian Referee Who Once Ended AFCON Match Early Set to Officiate World Cup Match

Janny Sikazwe: Zambian Referee Who Once Ended AFCON Match Early Set to Officiate World Cup Match

  • Zambian match official Janny Sikazwe sparked controversy during this year's Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon
  • This after he twice ended the same match before time, as Tunisia played Mali in one of the tournament's fixtures
  • His blunder notwithstanding, world football governing body FIFA still selected him to officiate at the 2022 World Cup
  • It is understood Sikazwe will be the man in the middle of the pitch when Belgium take on Canada in a Group F clash

Janny Sikazwe, a Zambia referee who once sparked controversy in football circles after he ended an Africa Cup of Nations match early, is set to make a return to the global stage.

Sikazwe gained global attention, albeit in a controversial way, during this year's AFCON when he twice blew the full-time whistle early during a match pitting Tunisia against Mali.

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Janny Sikazwe, FIFA World Cup, AFCON, Mali, tunisia, Canada, Belgium, Qatar 2022.
Referee Janny Sikazwe gestures during the 2018 FIFA World Cup during a match between Japan and Poland at the Volgograd Arena. Photo by Matthew Ashton.
Source: Getty Images

At the time, the match official became the subject of ridicule, with a section of fans questioning his refereeing credentials.

In his defence, Sikazwe later claimed he had suffered heatstroke that had caused him to hallucinate during the continental clash.

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"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," he was quoted at the time.

However, despite his huge blunder, Sikazwe was still handed a ticket to referee at the ongoing 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Deemed one of the top referees in the world, Daily Star reports Sikazwe will be the man at the centre of the pitch, when Canada lock horns with Belgium in their Group F encounter on November 23.

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The pool includes African football giants Morocco and 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia.

First female referee officiates AFCON

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Rwandan referee Salima Mukansanga made history by becoming the first woman to ever officiate at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Before the 34-year-old got the chance to referee the Group B match between Guinea and Malawi, Mukansanga had undergone intensive training and has many times acted as the fourth official.

She is one of the most respected female officiators in football, having already taken charge of games at the Women’s World Cup, Africa Women’s Cup of Nations and the CAF Women’s Champions League.

Source: SportsBrief.com