Afcon 2015: Guinea through, Mali out after drawing of lots

President of the Malian football federation Baba Diarra, CAF president Issa Hayatou, CAF secretary general Icham El Amrani and financial director of Guinea sports ministry Amara Dabo
A representative of each country drew a number to decide who progressed

Guinea have reached the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals at the expense of Mali after the drawing of lots.

Michel Dussuyer's side will face Ghana on Sunday following the draw at a Malabo hotel.

Guinea and Mali had finished level in Group D after they drew all three pool matches 1-1.

It is the first time lots have decided a team's qualification in the tournament since 1988, when Algeria profited at Ivory Coast's expense.

This time, Ivory Coast finished top of Group D in Equatorial Guinea after beating Cameroon 1-0 - the only match in the group not to finish in a 1-1 draw.

How Group D finished
TeamPWDLFAPts
Ivory Coast3120325
Mali3030333
Guinea3030333
Cameroon3021232

One representative from Guinea and Mali took part in Thursday's draw, which involved selecting balls from a bowl.

Mali's football association president Boubacar Diarra went first and pulled out the ball that placed them third in the group.

With Diarra in tears, Amara Dabo, financial director of the Guinea sports ministry, then drew the ball that confirmed his side in second place.

Dabo said: "The god of football fortune has smiled upon Guinea after this hard long journey."

Former Mali international and ex-Tottenham and West Ham striker Frederic Kanoute, 37, expressed his disappointment at the drawing of lots to decide who went through.

He tweeted: "This is no longer sport. But courage to our Guinean brothers."

Guinea coach Dussuyer and Mali boss Henri Kasperczak had also both said before Thursday's draw that it was an unfair way of separating the teams.

"Mali do not deserve to be eliminated in this way, just as we do not," Dussuyer said.

Kasperczak added: "We have to solve the problems of qualification without a drawing of lots."

Mali and Guinea officials draw balls out of bowl
Financial director Amara Dabo was Guinea's unlikely hero

The Confederation of African Football (Caf), which organises the tournament, said that alternative systems to separate teams would be considered in future.

Caf media director Junior Binyam said: "We have to stand by the regulation but also think about how we improve it.

"It's not fair to have a team going out like this. It really is the worst decision - to have to make a decision this way - because everybody expected it would be decided on the field."

At Euro 2008, Uefa had ruled that Turkey and the Czech Republic - who went into their final group match against each other with identical records - would have been separated by a penalty shootout had they drawn. Turkey won the match 3-2.

Lots have been drawn before
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 suggest balls were drawn, others say it was a slip of paper.
In the 1988 Africa Cup of Nations, Algeria profited at the expense of Ivory Coast after the drawing of lots.
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.