NELSPRUIT, South Africa (AP) -- Burkina Faso captain Charles Kabore urged the Confederation of African Football to rescind Jonathan Pitroipa's red card for diving and make him eligible for Sunday's African Cup of Nations final against Nigeria.
Pitroipa was shown a second yellow and sent off in the final few minutes of extra time in Wednesday's penalty shootout victory over Ghana, leaving the underdog Burkinabes without their two best attacking threats for their first ever African final.
Alain Traore was already out with injury, and Kabore and coach Paul Put both disagreed with Tunisian referee Slim Jdidi's decision to send off Pitroipa and rule him out of the decider after he went down in the penalty area.
Put was critical of many of Jdidi's officiating after a string of decisions went against Burkina Faso before it scraped through 3-2 in the shootout.
But Pitroipa's absence would be a big loss for the team. He went down under a challenge on the edge of the penalty area late in extra time and Jdidi ruled out a penalty and instead sent the France-based winger off.
Put called the second yellow card "ridiculous," while Kabore hoped CAF would intervene and clear Pitroipa to face Nigeria at Soccer City.
"The referee is human and humans can make mistakes, but he just happened to make too many mistakes tonight," Kabore said. "We are not going to dwell on that. We can forgive. We are in the final now and we think that Pitroipa should play in the final and that video must be reviewed."
Belgian-born Put was less forgiving.
"I think the best player of the day was the referee. It was a very great level (of refereeing)," he said sarcastically. "I told the players at halftime we don't need the referee to win. I was very upset during the game, very angry with the decisions of the referee. It was difficult to control myself."