Unsavory scenes marked the end of the rollercoaster AFCON quarterfinal showdown Between Mali and Ivory Coast at the Bouate Stadium, MySportDab reports.
Fuming Mali players confronted centre-referee Abdel at the blast of the final whistle following a controversial decision to flip Mali’s late corner-kick with the full time whistle.
Real Sociedad and Mali defender Hamare Traore was seen trying to attack Abdel after the referee blew the final whistle. He was slammed with a red card even after the match had ended for the assault.
After dishing the red card to Traore, Abdel tried to make his way off the pitch but was confronted with more Malian players, who stopped him from leaving the pitch and shoving him violently.
It was nearly a full-blown row before other match officials intervened, stopped Malian players from assaulting Abdel, and led him to safety off the pitch.
The late bruhaha was as a result of the decision of Abdel not to allow Mali take a late corner-kick which was a few seconds after the final minutes of the game was exhausted.
— Out Of Context Football (@nocontextfooty) February 3, 2024
It was a nightmare AFCON Quarterfinal outing for the Malians. Ivory Coast sensation Diakite scored a sensational back-heel flick to fire 10-man Ivoriens into the last four of the tournament.
Diakite’s winner happened to be the last touch of the ball and he was sent off after the goal for a second yellow card after removing his shirt to celebrate the goal.
Diakite will miss Ivory Coast semifinal showdown against DR Congo following the red card but will be available in the final or third-place playoff depending on their result against DR Congo.