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Watch: The referee collapses, stretched during the World Cup qualifiers

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Referee Charles Bull was stretched after the field collapsed during the AFCON World Cup qualifier match between Côte d’Ivoire and Ethiopia on Tuesday.

The African Cup of Nations qualifier collapsed and was stretched off the field, leaving the game between Côte d’Ivoire and Ethiopia with about 10 minutes left.

Referee Charles Bullou of Ghana appeared disoriented in the 81st minute of the Group K match at Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan on Tuesday.

As Bulu staggered, concerned Côte d’Ivoire players held his hands briefly, while others called for medics. They helped Bulu in the sideline when he suddenly relaxed and lay on his back with his eyes closed.

He was treated by medics and was taken down on a stretcher, although he was conscious when he was taken away. He reportedly fainted.

The game was called off with Côte d’Ivoire leading 3-1, as the fourth official player was ivory and could not take responsibility. After a field discussion between officials that lasted about 10 minutes, Kenyan assistant Gilbert Cheruyot took over as referee, but ended the game without further ado.

It is unclear whether the result will remain. The Ethiopian Football Federation said in a statement that the match was canceled pending a decision by the Confederation of African Football.

However, the result does not matter, as Côte d’Ivoire and Ethiopia qualified for the African Cup of Culture next year anyway. Côte d’Ivoire had already qualified and Ethiopia passed when Madagascar drew 0-0 with Niger in the group’s second match on Tuesday.

(With AP inputs.)

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