Zimbabwean referee Janny Sikazwe sparked a heated debate for ‘poor officiating’ in a World Cup match between Belgium and Canada at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium on Wednesday.

Canada fans criticized the controversial AFCON referee after failing to give the Maple Leafs two ‘possible penalties’ as Canada went down 1-0 to Belgium in their Group F opening fixture in the competition.

Earlier in the first half of the particular clash, Canada were given a penalty after Yannick Carrasco handled the ball in the box but Alphonso Davies was denied by Belgium keeper Thibaut Courtois.

Then, Jan Vertonghen appeared to foul Tajon Buchanan but was ruled offside despite Belgium’s Eden Hazard playing the ball to a Canadian man, and so couldn’t be offside according to analysts.

Again, Richie Laryea went down in the box courtesy of pressure from Axel Witsel but Sikazwe ignored the incident, same as the VAR.

Looking back, Sikazwe was at the center of controversy in the Africa Cup of Nations Group F match between Mali and Tunisia in January.

Janny Sikazwe blew the final whistle in the 85th minute of the match pitting the two sides before restarting play, rejecting a VAR review of a red card and then ending the match 20 seconds early once again in Cameroon.

This ridiculous officiating saw him escorted off the field as Mali beat Tunisia 1-0.

Meanwhile, CAF in 2018 suspended Janny Sikazwe on suspicion of corruption after he poorly handled an African Champions League match between Esperance and Primiero Agosto.

He officiated two games at the 2018 World Cup – Belgium v Panama and Japan v Poland.

- Advertisement -