The Guinean Senior National Football Team, the Syli Nationale, have reached the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals at the expense of Mali after the drawing of lots.
The two sides had finished level on points in Group D after both drawing all three of their matches 1-1.
On Wednesday, the managers for both Mali and Guinea insisted the drawing of lots should not be how their Africa Cup of Nations fate is decided.
Mali and Guinea drew one all in their three group games, making them finish on the same number of points, goals scored and goals conceded, hence the need to break the tie through the drawing of lots ;which is the last tie breaking exercise according to the competition’s rules.
It is the first time since 1988 that lots have been drawn to determine which nation qualifies to the knockout stage of the Africa Cup of Nations. In the 1988 Africa Cup of Nations, Algeria profited at the expense of Ivory Coast after the drawing of lots.
The concept of drawing lots to decide which team bows out in a tournament, though not new in global football, is seen as an unfair means to decide the fate of teams.
For instance in a 1954 World Cup qualifying match in Rome, Turkey and Spain were tied after 90 minutes. At that point, a 14-year-old boy, the son of a stadium employee, was summoned to draw lots from a trophy, sending Turkey to compete at the tournament in Switzerland while Spain were sent home. Some reports su1990 World Cup in Italy, the Netherlands and Ireland were tiedggest balls were drawn, others say it was a slip of paper.
At the 1990 World Cup in Italy, the Netherlands and Ireland were tied for second place in their group. Straight after the match, Sepp Blatter, then second-in-command at Fifa, conducted a drawing of lots ceremony live on TV in Rome.
Both teams were guaranteed qualification for round two but an attendant drew a ball from two bowls to determine their ranking, and thus their second-round opponent.
Earlier in the day, renowned Ghanaian footballer, Coach Ibrahim Sunday, had indicated that he preferred the Black Stars avoided Guinea.
The Black Stars managed an aggregate 4-2 win over Guinea during the qualifying campaign with Mali beating the West Africans twice to clinch bronze in the last two editions of the tournament.
The former Ghana and Kotoko star thus believed the Black Stars will hold a psychological edge over Mali in the quarter-finals if the two sides meet.
“I want us to avoid Guinea as I will prefer us to play Mali in the quarter-finals...Guinea will be more motivated to beat us after we beat them in the qualifying campaign. On the other hand, our boys will be extra motivated to beat Mali after they beat us twice to pick bronze in the last two editions of the tournament...Football doesn’t follow logic, but I believe we’ll be better placed to beat Mali than Guinea...In my opinion, Guinea will pose a threat to us than Mali,” he told Asempa FM.
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