Ivory Coast’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier with Ethiopia was halted on Tuesday afternoon after Ghanaian centre referee Charles Bulu collapsed on the Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara pitch.
With hosts Ivory Coast leading 3-1 after 80 minutes, Bulu was seen being escorted to the sidelines by some players before closing his eyes and laying on his back.
He was treated on the pitch before being carried off on a stretcher, with media reports suggesting he was headed to a local hospital for tests.
The Ghanaian was promoted to the top job after the referee who was originally to handle 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.
The impasse was resolved after Kenyan assistant referee Gilbert Cheruiyot stood-in as referee for the final few minutes of the match.
The result meant both Cote d’Ivoire and Ethiopia qualified for the finals of the AFCON in January after Madagascar played out a 0-0 draw with Niger in the group’s other game.
Watch the video below:
Referee Just Passed Out, Hope He is okay🙏
Ivory coast vs Ethiopia pic.twitter.com/aiFVZz4DMJ
— Goaldigger®️🎖️ (@betplaceke) March 30, 2021