- South African referee Victor Gomes will take charge of the Ivory Coast/Algeria game in Douala on Thursday.
- All eyes will be on Gomes after Janny Sikazwe's oddball showing in the Tunisia/Mali game set tongues wagging with regards to officiating.
- Algeria are bottom of Group E and need to win the game to keep their title defence alive.
South Africa's Victor Gomes will take charge of what can only be termed as the biggest game of the 2021 African Cup of Nations when Algeria and the Ivory Coast clash in Douala on Thursday.
Gomes will be assisted by fellow South African Zakhele Siwela, while the southern African match-officiating contingent will be completed by Lesotho's Souru Phatsoane.
The Group E fixture that will take place at the Japoma Stadium will pit the Group E leaders in the Elephants and the struggling defending champions The Greens, who had their 35-match match unbeaten streak snapped by the unfancied Equatorial Guinea on Sunday.
In what looked like it should have been an easy enough group for Djamel Belmadi's side to negotiate, they were held to a goalless draw by Sierra Leone before their shock loss to Equatorial Guinea.
Algeria are rooted to the bottom of the group and with the Sierra Leone/Equatorial Guinea game kicking off at the same time (18:00) at the Limbe Stadium, Algeria need to win to keep their title defence alive.
The group stages of the tournament have already claimed a big scalp with the Comoros eliminating Ghana from the tournament through 3-2 defeat.
All eyes will be on Gomes, one of five Confederation of Southern African Football Association referees, after Janny Sikazwe from Zambia had a controversial outing in the group game between Tunisia and Mali.