Referee Eric Otogo-Castane of Gabon has provided explanation to the controversial penalty he awarded Algeria against Nigeria during last game of the group B World Cup qualifier in Constantine.
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, a decision that shocked most football fans.
Replays showed the defender didn’t do much to warrant a penalty to be awarded against him, but referee Otogo-Castane explained to some Nigerian officials that his decision was right.
“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 said
“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.
“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 led 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.”