28th June, 2018
The football match between Argentina and Nigeria in Group D of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Competition holding in Russia has come and gone but the controversy surrounding that game still remains like a sour taste in the mouth.
It will be recalled that the Turkish referee for that match inexplicably denied Nigeria a very clear penalty after an Argentinian defender had headed the ball on to his hand right in his own box. The Nigerian players demanded a review of that scene on the VAR which the referee eventually agreed to.
However to the dismay of the Nigerian players and virtually everyone in the stadium and those watching on television sets across the world, the referee stood his ground and refused to award the clear penalty. Argentina of course went on to win that match 2-1.
The captain of the Super Eagles, Mikel Obi was later on asked in an interview about that particular incident and the following is what he had to say;
“We’ve seen it again in the dressing room, it was a clear penalty. There wasn’t any way the referee could not give that.
“The referee looked at the VAR. He said it hit the hand. I asked why he did not give us a penalty, he said he did not know.”
“We did everything we could.”
“In the second half we pushed and pushed. It just wasn’t to be. It is a young team and in four years most of them will be ready for this tournament.
“I’m very proud of the boys and what we have achieved. I think we have done really well. We have to keep going.”
Like Mikel, many soccer lovers across the globe are of the opinion that the Super Eagles were robbed in that game. Some of them are of the opinion that it would have been the other way round if the penalty had been in favour of Argentina.
In this kind of a situation, Football is surely the loser.