SUPER Eagles players have sent a passionate plea to officiating officials at the ongoing AFCON 2013 Nations Cup to be fair to the team in their remaining games, even as they hope to make the quarters when they clash with Ethiopia on Tuesday.
Reacting to Friday’s shock officiating, which culminated in a dubious
penalty being awarded to Zambia by the Egyptian referee, team skipper,
Joseph Yobo, said while he would not want to question the officials he
would want to appeal for fairness, so that the best team will always
Yobo’s assistant, Vincent Enyeama, was more direct in his reaction:
“It was a bizarre officiating, the worst penalty award I have ever seen
in my entire football career, only God knows why they are doing this to
Gangling defender, Azubuike Egwueke, said he was shocked from the
bench area when the referee pointed to the spot. “It was like a dream
and I was asking whether it was a penalty award or free kick against
Zambia, CAF should help us plead with the referees to be fair to the
team.” Sunday Mba, who is yet to taste action at the championship, spoke
in similar vein, saying that even officials of Nigeria’s opening game
against Burkina Faso seem to have a hidden agenda.
On his part, Ogenyi Onazi, who was alleged to have caused the
penalty, said he’s still at a loss over the referee’s call. “The
opposing Zambian player was the one who was pulling me, shoving and
almost pulling down my pants and we were not even in the 18 yard box
when the referee called for a penalty. CAF should please tell them to
stop killing African football,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Super Eagles will this morning depart for Rustenburg
from Nelspruit, where they will play their final game against Ethiopia
on Tuesday. The team will leave Nelspruit at 9am for a flight to
Pilanesburge Airport and arrive there at about 11:35am from where they
will go by road to Rustenburg.
Similarly, Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi and Football
Association of Zambia (FAZ), President, Kalusha Bwalya showed no
animosity towards each other after the controversial 1-1 draw between
both countries on Friday. The duo hugged, patted themselves on the back
and recalled the heroic days of football when they were the sign-posts
of their two nations.