Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Put angered by Pitroipa suspension

Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Paul Put admits his anger at Jonathan Pitroipa's sending off after Burkina Faso reach the Afcon final

By Sportsbeat
Burkina Faso

Angry Burkina Faso coach Paul Put believes he will need to draw from his tactical experience in Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations final against Nigeria after Jonathan Pitroipa’s controversial sending-off.

Mubarak Wakaso gave Ghana the lead before the superb Aristide Bance – once of Portsmouth – gave the Stallions a well-deserved leveller, before Daouda Diakite saved Agyemang Badu’s decisive spot-kick in the penalty shootout to send the Burkinabe through.

But Put believes Tunisian referee Slim Jedidi’s decision to dismiss Pitroipa late in extra-time was the just the pick of a number of bizarre decisions.

“The refereeing decisions were scandalous,” said the Belgian Put.

“We’ve lost Jonathan Pitroipa now for the final.

“He’s very important to us, but we are 23 players and it’s up to the technical staff to devise tactics to beat Nigeria without him and [the injured] Alain Traore.”

Burkinabe skipper Charles Kabore tried to be sympathetic to the referee, but insisted that while he was poor, the focus should be on making the final.

“The referee is human – all humans make mistakes, but he happened to make too many tonight,” said Kabore.

“But we’re not going to dwell on that – we’ve qualified.”

Former Sunderland striker and Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan admitted that while disappointed, the best side won and the Black Stars will now focus on finishing third.

“We came here to win [but] the better side won on penalties,” said the Middle-Eastern-based striker.

“We’re all really sad now – that’s normal. We’re down, but we have to psyche ourselves up now for the third place play-off with Mali.”


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