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Feb, 20, 2013

Referee apologises for AFCON semi-final

Tunisian referee Slim Jdidi has apologised for his "substandard conduct" during the African Nations Cup semi-final between Ghana and Burkina Faso.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced it had suspended Jdidi after his showing in Burkina Faso's penalty shootout victory, with Stallions coach Paul Put describing his decisions as "scandalous" despite securing progress to the final.

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, with his suspension later reversed on appeal.

Jdidi accepts his performance fell below acceptable standards.

"I made mistakes during that game," he said, according to SuperSport. "I don't know how and why but I later realised I committed lots of blunders. I did not see things I was supposed to see and I misinterpreted a number of decisions.

"I'm very sorry and I wish to express my apology to all those affected by my substandard conduct during that meeting. However, I have moved past that event and am trying to focus on something else."

Jdidi described reports that he may have been paid off as "baseless" .

"I did not meet or take money from any Ghanaian representatives," he said. "[Everything] that happened on the pitch was mistakes and that's human. Everybody makes mistakes. I took charge of other games before that fateful one and that's an indication of CAF's trust on me."

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