Algeria Asks FIFA To Ban Gambian Referee Over Mikel’s Goal


An agitated fan of the Algeria national team, has written an online petition to World football governing body, FIFA, asking it to ban Gambian referee, Bakary Papa Gassama, from games in the World Cup 2018 qualifiers, particularly matches against them, as they are yet to win a game he has handled.

The 37-year-old fan claims that the referee, Mr. Gassama allowed John Obi Mikel goal, which he claimed was from an offside position, to stand as Nigeria secured a 3-1 win over Algeria in the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

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Video replays analyzed by soccer experts in Algeria claimed Mikel was indeed offside when he scored the second goal for Nigeria and it has led to the online petition.

Algeria Coach, Georges Leekens, has narrowed his side’s defeat to that second goal scored by Mikel a few minutes to the half time break, as it somehow killed the game off as a contest after 45 minutes.

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“Nigeria’s second goal is not valid. There was indeed an offside position. The goal somewhat disorganised my players, especially before the break. If the score had remained 1-0, we would have returned in the second half.” the 67-year-old former Belgium manager was quoted as saying by the influential Algerian newspaper Le Buteur on Sunday.

Mikel, who is out of favour at Chelsea, had fired in from close range three minutes before half-time after receiving a through-ball from Oghenekaro Etebo with the Algeria defence attempting to keep him offside.

Meanwhile, Cameroonian national team coach, Hugo Broos says he is happy his team won’t be playing Nigeria this year, due to the fact that the Super Eagles are on a high at the moment.

” They (Super Eagles) are on a high, hard to find any weakness in them at the moment, maybe we are lucky because we don’t play them until next year. Hopefully, we would have built up confidence to explore any weakness.

” We will approach both ties against Nigeria with the seriousness it deserves, they are beatable no doubt, and after our not too impressive start, we need a very good result against Nigeria.”

Cameroon is in the same group with Nigeria, who are top of the group after two wins from the first two games of the group while Cameroon is yet to pick a win, with two draws from their opening ties.

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Nigeria currently has  four points ahead of Cameroon but both teams won’t be meeting each other until August next year, and Broos is confident they could have a better result against the Super Eagles then.

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