Soccer fans blame for 1-1 draw in Nigeria, Zambia match
The Egyptian referee awarded the Zambians a penalty in the 78th minute of the match for what the fans and experts considered a non-foul offence when the Nigerian team was coasting home with a one goal advantage scored earlier in the match.
Reacting to the outcome of the match, some soccer fans in Lagos said that the referee deliberately gave the match to the Zambians through the spurious penalty award.
They rated the level of officiating at the AFCON as low and urged CAF to raise the level of officiating in the championship.
In his reaction, a former head coach of the Nigerian women’s team, the Super Falcons, Paul Hamilton, said that the referee’s decision to award Zambia a penalty was questionable.
In the same vein, Henry Nwosu, a Nigerian ex-international, said that he was not happy with the referee’s decision to award a penalty against Nigeria.
Nwosu said that the foul, which was committed in the second half of the match, was done on the 18 line-box and therefore, did not merit a penalty.
“The foul was committed just outside the 18 line-box and the Zambian striker fell into the box. It was bad officiating on the part of the referee,” he said.
The Kano Pillars FC coach, Sanni Ahmed, said that he believed that there was a plot to make sure that Nigeria did not qualify for the next round of the competition.
“I believe there is a conspiracy among the officials to knock Nigeria out at the group stage.
“My advice to the Nigerian team is that they should concentrate in the mid-field because that is where they are lacking in the game play,” he said.
Speaking after the match, the Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi, said that the team would focus on their final Group C match against Ethiopia on Tuesday.
“We wanted the three points today with due respect to Zambia, but they are a great team and having been together for the past four years and also they are the defending champions.
“All the same, I’m happy with the result. We just have to forge ahead against a very good Ethiopian team,” Keshi said.