Gabonese Referee Defends Decision To Award Penalty To Algeria Against Nigeria

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The referee who officiated Nigeria’s World Cup 2018 Qualifiers tie against Algeria in Constantine has given an explanation on why he awarded a controversial penalty to the host.

Algeria forced Nigeria to a 1-1 draw thanks to a late penalty awarded to the Fennecs when Shehu Abdullahi was adjudged to have fouled Algerian winger Yacine Brahaimi in the box.

However replays suggest the defender didn’t do much to warrant a penalty to be awarded against him, but referee ‎Eric Otogo-Castane told explained to some Nigerian officials the reason behind the harsh spot kick awarded to the Algerians.

” Expectedly we asked questions after the game and the referee explained to us that the decision was taken based on a newly introduced law into the game, which allows for intention to be punished”, the NFF board member told Owngoalnigeria.com.

” He interpreted Shehu’s intention to impede the man, who stayed on his feet instead of going down from the tackle. ‎The fact that the Algerian attacker Brahaimi didn’t go down is what made the decision to look like the wrong call according to him.

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” Let’s be frank he did his best considering the atmosphere he was under and especially after turning down numerous attempt by the Algerians to con him into giving them a penalty.

” Maybe Brahaimi should have been sent off before the incident which lead to the goal, but I guess he didn’t want to lose grip of the match, which a red card to the Algerian captain would have triggered. It’s called game management and we understand his explanation “.

Maxwell Pius