Where Equatorial Guinea fans are ecstatic, Tunisian fans, players, coaches and others are furious.
The result that sent Equatorial Guinea to the semifinals and Tunisia homeward continued to roil the tournament.
During the Saturday match, a late penalty awarded by Mauritian referee Rajindraparsad Seechurn resulted in Equatorial Guinea tying the score. Javier Balboa then sealed victory for the home team in the 102nd minute.
At the final minute, as local fans erupted in celebrations, ugly scenes erupted on the pitch, as Tunisian players accosted tournament officials, and then tried to attack the referee.
Tunisia’s coach Georges Leekens has called for the suspension of Seechurn, saying in 45 years of football, he has never experience something like this.
It is a “scandal,” he said.
Bata Wadii El Jari, the head of the Tunisian Football Federation, submitted his resignation to the tournament organizing committee in protest of what happened to his team.
Equatorial Guinea’s coach, Esteban Becker, meanwhile, said in an interview with VOA that the decision should be respected.
“We need to respect the decision on the field and not turn law into our own hands. It was a penalty given and sent us to over time. The Tunisians had 30 minutes to win if they played their game,” he said. “Instead they played defense and we played attack which enable us to win.”
Tournament organizers CAF have not issued any statement about the Saturday match.
Did you watch the match? Was the penalty justified? Was Tunisia robbed of victory? Let us know your thoughts.
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