Home » Hannibal Mejbri at the centre of controversial World Cup moment

Hannibal Mejbri at the centre of controversial World Cup moment

by Zoe Hodges

Manchester United youngster Hannibal Mejbri has made an impact from the bench for Tunisia but not in the way it was hoped.

The 19-year-old was an unused substitute in Tunisia’s 0-1 defeat to Australia in their second game of Group D leaving them with just one point.

However, the midfielder caused a stir from the bench in the first half as Australia’s goalscorer Mitchell Duke went down after taking a knock.

As he lay on the ground, Hannibal got up off the bench to retrieve the ball and seemingly threw it towards the stricken Australian.

It hit Duke on the head and he leapt to his feet incensed by the young Tunisian. Several of Duke’s teammates raced towards the Tunisian technical area as Hannibal’s teammates protected him.

The referee managed to diffuse the situation and had a stern word with Hannibal as his manager encouraged him to apologise.

The two players could then be seen shaking hands and laughing about the situation shortly after it happened before Hannibal sheepishly returned to the Tunisian bench.

Hannibal has gained a reputation for his fiery temperament, having been sent off three times in his 40 appearances for the Manchester United under-21s , a rare feat given that referees tend to be more lenient in the Premier League 2.

He was also reprimanded by Ralf Rangnick after he was lucky to stay on the pitch when United lost to Liverpool 4-0 although former Red Gary Neville praised his antics saying he was the only player showing a bit of fight in that defeat.

Since moving on loan to Birmingham this season, he seems to have got his temper under control having received just four bookings this season.

Duke’s first-half header was the only thing that separated the two sides as Tunisia pushed for a late equaliser to no avail.

Tunisia’s last game of the group stage is against current World Cup holders France on Wednesday.

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