Tunisian's referee Jdidi Slim suspended by Confederation of African Football Thursday
Jdidi was heavily criticized following his performance during Burkina Faso vs Ghana semifinal
Official failed to award two penalties, disallowed a valid strike and sent off Jonathan Pitroipa
Burkinabe hope to win appeal against Pitroipa red card Friday
Tunisian referee Slim Jdidi, the man whose performance came close to overshadowing Burkina Faso’s astonishing fairytale passage into the final of the Africa Cup of Nations, was suspended by the Confederation of African Football on Thursday.
Jdidi’s officiating during the Burkinabe’s semifinal victory over Ghana has been heavily criticized after he made a number of questionable decisions.
Chief amongst those was the 117th-minute sending off of Jonathan Pitroipa for simulation, despite the forward quite clearly being fouled inside the Ghana penalty area.
While Burkina Faso eventually prevailed 3-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw, all the talk after the game centered on Jdidi’s failure to award a legitimate penalty, his decision to disallow a valid goal and the red card he issued to Pitroipa.
“We would have expected a better standard,” Confederation of African Football (CAF) secretary-general Hicham El Amrani told a media conference.
“There is a meeting tomorrow (Friday) to discuss the Pitroipa incident.”
The Burkinabe are also hopeful that Pitroipa will have his suspension overturned, although that depends on whether Jdidi admits to the error in his match report.
“The organizing committee does not have the power to change the referee’s decision unless the referee admits he made a mistake in his official report,” said El Amrani.
Burkina Faso’s team manager Gualbert Kabore confirmed that the team had appealed against Pitropia’s suspension and insists there is a good chance the forward will be available for Sunday’s final against Nigeria.
Kabore told AFP: “The Burkina Faso Football Federation wrote an official letter of appeal to CAF (competition organizers).
“We lodged it in the two hours after the match as stipulated by the regulations.
“We think we have a good chance of winning the appeal.
“There were some scandalous decisions, we don’t know why, we’re asking lots of questions, there are lots of theories.
“Curiously, the players reacted better than us (the team management). They said if the referee is against us that must mean we are the stronger side.”