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We wuz robbed: Zambian FA lodges complaint over ref in semifinal defeat to Banyana

Banayana Banyana's Linda Motlhalo (left) and Nomvula Kgoale celebrate their victory against Zambia in the 2022 Women's Africa Cup of Nations semifinal at Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca, Morocco.
Banayana Banyana's Linda Motlhalo (left) and Nomvula Kgoale celebrate their victory against Zambia in the 2022 Women's Africa Cup of Nations semifinal at Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca, Morocco.
Image: Tobi Adepoju/Gallo Images

The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has lodged an official complaint with the Confederation of African Football regarding the officiating in their 1-0 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations semifinal defeat against Banyana Banyana.

Specifically FAZ has contested the penalty awarded in injury time, by Ethiopian referee Lidya Tafesse Abebe, from which Linda Motlhalo scored the 93rd-minute winner at Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca, Morocco.

Abebe gave the penalty after consulting the video assistant referee (VAR). However, the decision was hotly contested as Zambian players argued defender Martha Tembo won the ball in a 50-50 challenge after Banyana’s Jermaine Seoposenwe went down with her foot on the line of the penalty area.

“FAZ has lodged a formal complaint to the Confederation of African Football (Caf) against the officiating by Ethiopian referee Lidya Tafesse Abebe during the Wafcon semifinal between Zambia and SA,” the Zambian FA said.

“In a complaint letter dated July 18 addressed to Caf general secretary Veron Mosengo-Omba, FAZ general secretary Adrian Kashala advanced six key incidences, including the late penalty awarded to SA. 

“We wish to contest the decision of the referee to award such a penalty resulting in a goal, which was decisive against our team progressing to the finals, as we call for a serious review of the game.

“We call for the penalty to be cancelled, that a replay be ordered and that the referee be barred from handling any games.”

FAZ said Kashala “opted to file a complaint as Zambia had suffered similar injustices in their quarterfinal victory over Senegal”.

Kashala said: “We have further noted with great concern the poor officiating that has characterised the tournament, specifically our games. We recorded similar incidents of poor match officiating by referees who have got off scot-free, among them referee Bouchra Karboubi who has continued to handle games at the tournament as if nothing happened.”

Banyana meet hosts Morocco in Saturday’s final at Stade Prince Moulay Abdellah (10pm SA time).


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