World football governing body FIFA has appointed Egyptian referee Ghead Grisha for Nigeria’s World Cup 2018 qualifiers against Zambia, which will take place on the 9th of October in the Zambian town of Ndola.
His appointment will no doubt raised eyebrows among football followers in Nigeria due to his past history with Nigeria notably at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, where he awarded Zambia a controversial penalty that helped them draw 1-1 with Nigeria.
In that game Grisha awarded a spot kick to Zambia, then Africa Champions in the 84th minutes for a foul on Mayuka allegedly committed by Ogenyi Onazi. But replays showed that the Zambian forward tripped over the ball without Onazi putting in a tackle.
Worst still the incident took place outside the box, making his decision more ridiculous to the eyes. Zambian goalkepper Kennedy Mweene scored the resultant spot kick to draw Zambia level after Emmanuel Emenike has given Nigeria the lead in the 57th minute.
However, the second time the Egyptian handled the Super Eagles of Nigeria, they triumphed 2-0 away to Congo in an AFCON 2015 qualifiers, although Nigeria failed to qualify for the tournament proper.
At club level, Grisha has officiated games involving three Nigerian teams in CAF organised championship, and it includes Enyimba’s 1-0 loss away to Wydad Casablance of Morocco in 2011 in the CAF Chamnpions League and, Enugu Rangers 0-0 draw against Libolo of Angola in 2013.
In 2014, he also handled Warri Wolves 3-2 win away to Union Douala of Cameroun in the CAF Confederations Cup preliminary rounds.
Owngoalnigeria.com also went through his record and found out that Zambia had never lose a game handled by Grisha. As in 2015 when he handled their cup of nations qualifiers against Congo DR, the game ended in a draw.