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Football referee Janny Sikazwe in hot water again – this time on the biggest stage

Football referee Janny Sikazwe in hot water again - this time on the biggest stage

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Johannesburg – Fifa and CAF accredited referee Janny Sikazwe has found himself in hot water again as the Canadian fans blasted him for poor officiating against Belgium.

Sikazwe hogged the headlines in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) early this year as he blew the final whistle in the 85th and 89th minute of a group clash between Tunisia and Mali.

This annoyed Tunisia, who lost the clash, while Afcon was deemed a “shambles” and “embarrassing” by the masses around the world.

To his defence, Sikazwe, reportedly, said he was suffering a heat stroke and severe dehydration, hence he prematurely blew his final whistle before time was up.

There can be no further excuses for Referee Janny Sikazwe from #Zambia, after the #BELCAN #Qatar2022 #FIFAWorldCup game. He cost #TeamCanada the game by denying them penalties against #TeamBelgium. This, after the #AFCON blunders, will likely end his refereeing career. pic.twitter.com/9zxMrvtq9S

— Osasu Obayiuwana (@osasuo) November 23, 2022

For his blunders, Sikazwe only received a slap on the wrist as he was called-up for the World Cup in Qatar, joining Southern Africa counterpart Victor Gomes.

The Zambian-born whistle-blower had his first assignment on Wednesday night officiating Group G’s match between Belgium and Canada.

But a large chunk of the Canadian supporters were not happy with Sikazwe's officiating which resulted in their national team’s 1-0 loss to Belgium.

Sikazwe was backed for awarding Canada a penalty, that was saved by Thibaut Courtois, following a handball by Yannick Carrasco early on.

But after Alphonso Davies' miss from 12 yards, Canada’s fans and North American football experts felt that they deserved another penalty or two.

There can be no further excuses for Referee Janny Sikazwe from #Zambia, after the #BELCAN #Qatar2022 #FIFAWorldCup game. He cost #TeamCanada the game by denying them penalties against #TeamBelgium. This, after the #AFCON blunders, will likely end his refereeing career. pic.twitter.com/9zxMrvtq9S

— Osasu Obayiuwana (@osasuo) November 23, 2022

The massive moment came when Canada's Tajon Buchanan was brought down in the box by Jan Vertonghen following an Eden Hazard backpass.

They argue that Sikazwe shouldn’t have heeded to his assistant’s call for offside as there is no offside from a backpass.

Fox Sports pundit Stuart Holden said: “Missed call by the referee and the VAR not to go back. Canada should have (been awarded) a second penalty there.”

Holden's fellow pundit, Alexi Lalas, backed his sentiments, saying: “That was ridiculous. It's amazing they (Canada) are losing this game.”

Fox's referee expert, the former English Premier League official Mark Clattenburg, added: “Human error by the VAR. Canada should have had a second penalty.”

In the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, Janny Sikazwe incorrectly whistled for full time TWICE in a single game. Scandalously, the players walked off the pitch. A total referee mishap.
That’s who reffed who missed a blatant Canada penalty and instead called an offside that wasn’t. pic.twitter.com/uGpaQVzOhK

— Nico Cantor (@Nicocantor1) November 23, 2022

But it wasn’t just the experts at Fox Studios that were anti-VAR or Sikazwe. Sportsmail columnist Olivier Holt agreed Canada deserved two penalties.

“Canada are unlucky to be behind at the break here. Awarded one penalty and missed it. Should have had two other penalties but neither was given.”

In the end, though, Michy Batshuayi’s first half goal for Belgium was enough to win them the three points, while Canada were still pointless.

@MihlaliBaleka

Original Article

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