The Africa Cup of Nations may have moved on to the semi-final stage, with DR Congo set to play the Ivory Coast in the first tie today, but the rumblings over the quarter-final matches are continuing to resonate across the footballing world. The hosts Equatorial Guinea are currently scheduled to play Ghana in the second semi-final tomorrow, but the result from their last-eight match has been debated long and hard by those who witnessed the outcome. So much so that the referee for the Equatorial Guinea versus Tunisia match has been handed a six-month ban by the Confederation of African #Football, as a result of his performance during that game and the decisions he made.
Most of the heated discussions have seemingly centred round a somewhat controversial penalty decision, that referee Rajindraparsad Seechurn awarded in stoppage time to the host nation in their game in Bata. It proved decisive to the outcome of the match as they went on to defeat Tunisia 2-1 in extra-time, after trailing by a goal themselves as the game had entered stoppage time, knocking Tunisia out of the tournament as a result.
Seechurn is a 44-year-old Mauritian official who reached the first grade for referees back in 2001. He is an experienced referee at that level having taken charge of African Federation matches since 2004 and has officiated at three previous Africa Cup of Nations' tournaments, in addition to the current one.
Amid accusations that home bias may have been involved in the contentious decision (something that CAF are not in agreement with), the referee was confronted by staff from the Tunisian side at the end of the match. CAF are demanding that the Tunisians apologise for their insinuations of bias, but in the meantime have fined their football federation the princely sum of $50,000 (about £33,000 on current exchange rates).Tunisian Football Federation president Wadie Jary had resigned from CAF over the weekend after the result, in a clear protest about the manner in which his nation exited the tournament.