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Ghanaian referee Charles Bulu collapses during AFCON qualifier

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Ivory Coast’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier with Ethiopia descended into chaos on Tuesday afternoon when the referee collapsed on the pitch.

With Ivory Coast leading 3-1 after 80 minutes, the footage shows Charles Bulu being helped by players having seemingly felt unwell towards the end of the game.

In the clip posted on Twitter, the ref is seen being slowly walked towards medical staff before closing his eyes and falling to the ground.

Bulu was treated on the pitch before being carried off on a stretcher, with reports suggesting he was taken to a local hospital for tests.

The official was promoted to the top job after the referee who was originally given the game tested positive for Covid-19.

However, the fourth official who took Bulu’s place was unable to take charge for the remainder of the match because he is Ivorian – and could have been accused of bias towards the hosts.

After discussions, Kenyan assistant referee Gilbert Cheruiyot filled in as referee to oversee the final few minutes of the match.

With Madagascar having played out a 0-0 draw with Niger in the group’s other game, both Ivory Coast and Ethiopia have qualified for the finals next January.

Goals from Wolves defender Willy Boly, AC Milan’s Franck Kessie and Jean Kouassi sealed victory for the hosts, who also had Tottenham’s Serge Aurier and Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha in action.


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