- Experienced Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe has been accused of denying Canada a clear penalty versus Belgium at the 2022 World Cup
- Canada's player was tripped in the box but was judged to be offside, but replays showed a Belgium player kicked the ball towards him
- Sikazwe was the subject of much ridicule after ending the same 2021 Africa Cup of Nations match early, twice
Controversial Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe has grabbed the headlines for the wrong reasons again, this time at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The referee became famous for inexplicably ending an Africa Cup of Nations match five minutes early, and has now been accused of missing an important call during Belgium vs Canada match.
The Canadians gave a good account of themselves against a team ranked second in the world. They started impressively, pinning the 2018 World Cup semi-finalists and getting rewarded.
They were awarded a penalty in the 10th minute after a quick VAR check. Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies stepped up to take the penalty, but Real Madrid's Thibaut Courtois saved it, denying the Canadians their first World Cup goal in 36 years.
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Sikazwe makes an error
Two minutes after Davies missed the penalty, Canada's Tajon Buchanan was tripped in the box, but he was flagged offside despite passionate penalty appeals from Canadian players.
After replays however, it appeared Eden Hazard had passed the ball to Buchanan; therefore, they should've been awarded a penalty. Surprisingly, there was no VAR check on the incident, leaving fans annoyed.
Fans angry with Sikazwe
Football fans were livid after the decision, with many hurling insults at Sikazwe for denying Canada a golden opportunity to score, according to Sportbible.
Axel Witsel appeared to trip Richie Laryea, but a penalty wasn't given, irritating a lot of fans.
Some were baffled that the controversial referee was allowed to officiate a game in Qatar.
"Who decided that the same clown that ended a match in the 85th minute once should ref a game in the world cup."
"The referee should retire."
"Absolutely disgraceful display from this referee. Without question the worst at this World Cup thus far. Canada robbed."
Others could not believe he denied Canada a clear penalty.
"I'm sorry to bash a referee but missing three nail on penalties in play isn't good enough in a world cup. One was corrected by VAR, but Canada should've had three penalties in this game and they've just been given one. Unacceptable at this level."
"That is an ATROCIOUS call by the referee. Canada would’ve had a golden opportunity to score (and arguably could’ve been a penalty), but the ref calls it offside even though it was off a bad Hazard back pass."
"Canada being cheated. That was a poor call from the assistant referee. He looks so nervous "
"Canada got robbed of 2 clear penalties & now it’s 1-0 to Belgium ☠️. Somebody arrest this referee man."
Canada play Croatia in their next match, hoping to bounce back and give themselves a chance to progress.
Sikazwe selected to officiate
He twice ended the same match before time, as Tunisia played Mali in one of the tournament's fixtures.
His blunder notwithstanding, the world football governing body FIFA still selected Sikazwe to officiate at the 2022 World Cup.
Source: Sports Brief News