AFRICA CUP OF NATION viewers were left in disbelief after Nicolas Pepe was booked for diving after being wiped out.
The former Arsenalforward started for the Ivory Coast against Senegal in the round of 16 tie.
Habib Diallo put Senegal ahead after just four minutes but the Ivorians pushed for a leveller.
Replays showed Pepe flicking the ball over Mendy before being taken out off his feet.
Amazingly, the on-field referee failed to give the stone-wall penalty.
He even BOOKED Pepe for diving – leaving fans in disbelief.
One said: “How the referee didn’t see that as a penalty is worrying.”
Another added: “Booking Pepe for diving there might actually be the worst refereeing decision I’ve ever seen.”
One fumed: “One of the worst refereeing decisions ever. Truly incredible. VAR saves the day.”
Another raged: “The fact he booked the Ivory Coast player for diving there might be the worst decision I have ever seen.”
One simply asked: “Is the ref mad??”
Thankfully, the decision was overturned by VARand Franck Kessie equalised from the spot.
The host nation has the wind in their sails after netting the equaliser but could not find a winner as the game came down to penalties.
Nottingham Forest’s Moussa Niakhate missed his spot-kick for Senagal in an otherwise perfect shootout.
And Kessie stepped up again to sit Mendy down and send Ivory Coast into the quarters at a raucous Charles Konan Banny Stadium.