This year’s African Cup of Nations, AFCON seems to have its own uniqueness. Some of the things that are being noticed in this AFCON are things that are happening for the first time since inception of the tournament.
The most worrisome one is the way and manners caution cards are being issued. The most disturbing one is that the referees are ‘card-hungry’ especially the VAR ones. Once tackles are made and the referees’ attentions are being called to the VAR Tv, the next thing that follows is the red card.
The surprising one is that six out of the eight matches played so far in the round of 16 have witnessed the issuance of red cards to players.
First, in the match between Burkina-Faso and Gabon, a red card was issued to Obissa of Gabon in the 67th minutes.
Also, in the match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia, Alex Iwobi of Nigeria was given a red card in the 66th minute of the match which saw the Tunisians qualifying to the next round.
Njie of Gambia was given the matching order in the 87th minute while Conte of Guinea was sent off in the 93rd minutes. In the match between Comoros and Cameroun, Abdou of the Comoros Island was sent off in the seven minutes of the game while the match involving Senegal and Cape Verde witnessed the sending off of the duo of Vozinha and Andrade of Cape Verde nationality.
The funniest thing is that some of these players are just getting red cards in their entire career. These are players that have been playing club football for years without red cards.
For now, it is only Morocco and Malawi that did not witnessed any red card incident. Who knows what will happen in the match between Egypt and Cote d’Ivoire because it is going to be physical especially with the Ivorians.
What then could be the problem? Could it be a coincidence or the continent football ruling body, CAF must have given them instructions on what to do or the referees are just card-hungry or the players are rough and deserve the cards?
Well, one thing they must have at the back of their minds is that, this could make or mar the funs attached to the tournament hence they must be considerate when issuing red cards to players.