Following the draw against DR Congo (1-1) on Tuesday in the CAN 2023 qualifiers, Mauritania was targeted.
Indeed, many voices were raised to denounce the arbitration of the Tunisian Selmi Sadok, considered unfavorable to the Congolese, with in particular the controversial expulsion of Cédric Bakambu back from the locker room when the Leopards could have benefited from a free kick in the opposing area. Beyond rants from DRC playersthe consultant of Canal+ Africa, Guy Demel, went even further by implying on Thursday that the referee may have been corrupt. “When I see a player take a tackle in front of the linesman, and the latter who watches and waits for the central referee to whistle before raising his flag, I’m sorry, for me, there’s suspicion. For me, it’s not just a lack of skill“, denounced the former Ivorian international.
#LGB – 🗣 “There is suspicion, it’s not just a lack of skills!”
👉 Guy Demel’s rant about Mauritania-DRC arbitration (1-1) pic.twitter.com/WtnOCZwZe0
– CANAL + SPORT Africa (@cplussportafr) March 30, 2023
Mauritania threatens to take legal action
Ces «offensive and defamatory remarks” and these “thinly veiled insinuations, extremely serious“represented the last straw for the Mauritanian Football Federation (FFRIM) which responded this Friday through a long press release which defends its integrity and mainly attacks Canal+ Africa. «This excerpt (by Guy Demel, editor’s note), widely relayed on social networks, comes in addition to other allegations made in an allusive way during the program and which would support that Mauritania could have exercised, through ‘ high places’, a pressure on the referees of the game. With these words, the consultants of the program ‘Les Grandes Bouches’ associate the name of Mauritania with acts of extreme gravity and question the integrity of its representatives, without any evidence“, are indignant the Mourabitounes.
«These insinuations, devoid of any foundation, undermine the honor and reputation of Mauritania, in general, and of its Federation, in particular, whose missions include, among other things, the safeguarding of the values of sport. Faced with this serious, unjustified and unjust attack by the consultants of the program ‘Les Grandes Bouches’, the FFRIM reserves the right to bring the case, in the coming days, before the competent courts“Warns the authority. “On the other hand, the FFRIM expresses its deep regrets and strong indignation at the partiality of commentators on the Canal+ Sport Afrique channelmanifested throughout the two games against DR Congo, especially the insulting remarks made against the Mauritanian players during the return match played on March 28 in Nouakchott, calling them ‘sick’, when they tried to separate a Congolese player from the referee, an action far from trivial in football.»
#FRAME 📣 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐪𝐮𝐞́ 𝐝𝐞 𝐥𝐚 𝐅𝐅𝐑𝐈𝐌 🇲🇷
➡️ https://t.co/Sn6jlvBpCM pic.twitter.com/bXco4nIZz4
— FRIMM (@ffrim) March 31, 2023
Refereeing the first leg singled out
The Mauritanians also believe that the refereeing had not been flawless either, in the other direction, four days earlier in the first leg (3-1 defeat). “The FFRIM recalls that, during the first leg, played on March 24 in Lubumbashi, numerous arbitration decisions, including the exaggerated and abusive exclusion of a Mauritanian player, greatly affected the performance of the Mourabitounes. On this action, which, beforehand had not even been sanctioned by a fault, the referee waved the red card, following the pressure exerted by the players, the staff and the opposing public. Regrettable facts, but which have never prevented the FFRIM from advocating fair play and the necessary perspective, without making any accusation or insinuation towards anyoneConcluded Mauritanians revolted and determined to clear their honor in this tense context.