What is a farce? The Oxford dictionary defines a farce as a comedy involving ridiculous situations; and it further defines it as an absurd event; while its adjective is termed with the word “farcical” and it’s adverb uses the word “farcically”; and this encapsulates the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) currently holding in Cameroon.
Since the start of the AFCON, it has been filled with so much farcical happenings; which has caused mixed reactions in the mind of fans and international admirers of this respected and reputable tournament that has produced football Legends who have soared high in their career and have made the African Continent proud.
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Nevertheless, as funny as it may sound or seem, AFCON 2022 has been filled with much humour; with regards to farcical situations and this should be of a serious concern to the Organizing body CAF with regards to the preparedness to host such a reputable tournament and further look at the challenges in terms of security and officiating.
A case study which which has brought much sentiments; with regards to match officials being biased and unprofessional was the match between Mali vs Tunisia; the Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe blew for full time in the 85th minutes; while the match was still ongoing with Mali leading by a goal to Nil while Tunisia was chasing for an equalizer and then resumed the game only for him to blow his full time whistle again just 20 seconds before the 90 minutes mark.
The game also witnessed a Malian player given a controversial red card; two penalties, one for each team; and a refusal to review a VAR decision concerning a controversial tackle.
The Zambian referee who once officiated at the 2018 World Cup in Russia has not only brought mockery to himself; but embarrassment to African referees and officials as being inadequate and inefficient in officiating football matches.
In fact, it is a pathetic fallacy. The African continent, it’s tournament and it’s governing body CAF claim to have brought maximum improvements to the development of African football; and adequate training of it’s sports officials with the resources of the continent; and yet these blunders keep repeating itself in the African tournament.
With the introduction of VAR technology into African football, it is important for CAF to give adequate & efficient trainings free from all forms of bureaucracy and red tapism to it’s sports official and make them fit for international tournaments as well as continental tournaments in football..
Therefore, the case study of the match between Mali and Tunisia is a Wake up call for CAF to get their seat belts fasten; and seek for better ways of improving African football.
Until then, the words of Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp in his post-match press conference will still be a matter of serious concern and deliberation when he referred to the African Tournament as “A little tournament in Africa”.
This is my 1% take on this matter.
(Written by Jonathan Jackson).