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Feb 7, 2013

CAF suspends semi-final ref

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has suspended Tunisian referee Slim Jdidi following his performance in the African Nations Cup semi-final between Burkina Faso and Ghana.

• Blog: Stallions rise above controversy

With the teams level at 1-1 after extra-time, Burkina Faso beat Ghana 3-2 on penalties to book a meeting with Nigeria in the final of the competition, but they were left aggrieved at a number of refereeing decisions during the match.

Ghana took the lead from the penalty spot in the 13th minute after Madi Panandetiguiri was controversially ruled to have pulled down Christian Atsu, and the Stallions - having taken the game to extra time - were denied a winner when Prejuce Nakoulma saw a goal ruled out for reasons that were not immediately clear.

Jonathan Pitroipa was then sent off for a dive in the area despite replays showing he was tripped.

"The refereeing decisions were scandalous," Burkina Faso boss Paul Put told the BBC. "We've lost Jonathan Pitroipa now for the final."

Burkina Faso captain Charles Kabore added: "The referee is human, all humans make mistakes, but he happened to make too many tonight."

CAF general secretary Hicham El Amrani told the media on Thursday that Jdidi would be punished for his performance.

"CAF was not happy with the standard of refereeing in the match," he said. "We know they can make mistakes but we expected a better level of refereeing. They are graded on each performance and, based on his marks, the referee from Tunisia is now suspended for a period of time still to be determined."

Burkina Faso lodged an appeal against Pitroipa's suspension after the match, with team manager Gualbert Kabore saying he believed there was a "good chance" of success, but Al Amrani warned it could not be overturned unless Jdidi acknowledged he had made an error in his report.

"The organising committee does not have the power to change a referee's decision," he added. "If the referee has admitted a mistake in his report the committee will consider it and make any decision if necessary, but that report [...] is final."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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