- The AFCON 2023 referee who officiated the final match between Nigeria and the host country, Ivory Coast, seems to be on the bad books of many
- Some journalists and key players of the Super Eagles maintained strongly that Dahane Beida worked in favour of the Elephants of Ivory Coast
- They noted that this contributed to Nigeria's loss to Ivory Coast in the much talked about match on Sunday, February 11
Legit.ng journalist Esther Odili has over two years of experience covering political parties and movements.
Dahane Beida, the Mauritanian referee, has come under heavy criticism for his performance during the final of the 2023 AFCON match between the Super Eagles and hosts Ivory Coast at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan, on Sunday, February 11.
The Elephants of Ivory Coast defeated the Super Eagles of Nigeria 2-1 to claim their third title.
Beida was caught in the midst of some poor decisions against Nigeria during the encounter, which many said resulted in the Eagles' loss at the tournament.
The Punch reported on Monday, February 12, that the Mauritanian official, in front of over 60,000 fans, mostly Ivorians, called for a number of fouls in favour of the host country but failed to reciprocate in obvious situations for the Eagles.
Meanwhile, the referee reportedly made controversial calls, which kept Eagles’ coach Jose Peseiro agitated in most parts of the game. In fact, the referee gave him a yellow card to put the Portuguese tactician in check.
Famous Nigerians criticise referee
Reacting, the Super Eagles midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, who missed the tournament due to an injury, wrote in pidgin English:
“Great display of talents”: Peter Obi, Atiku hail Super Eagles after loss to AFCON host, Ivory Coast
“Ref na wa o.”
Journalists also joined in the criticism, as some maintained that the referee clearly struggled with the occasion.
“Puzzling choice of referee for the final. Favour probably prevailed over labour,” Journalist Biola Kazeem noted.
Also, a UK-based Nigerian educationist, Dipo Awojide, decried the poor officiating. He noted:
“The referee has been awful. He cheated!”
Popular Nigerian RnB singer Johnny Drille also commented on the referee’s performance, noting it was obvious that he officiated in favour of the hosts.
“This ref was against us. Nothing you can tell me.”
Super Eagles' Nwabali loses Golden Glove
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the first-choice goalkeeper of the Super Eagles at the AFCON 2023, Stanley Nwabali, lost the Golden Glove award.
South Africa's Ronwen Williams scooped the award, which is presented to the goalkeeper with the most clean sheets in AFCON.
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