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‘Referee did well; it was a correct call’ - Nigerian Football Federation boss on penalty denial

The Nigerian Football Federation has praised the cancellation of a penalty initially awarded to Nigeria against Ghana in the 2022 World Cup qualifier following a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review.

Amaju Pinnick

The federation’s president, Amaju Pinnick told Kumasi-based Akoma FM that the referee was fair in reversing his earlier decision because a Nigerian player had pushed Iddrisu Baba which made his hand touch the ball.

"I think the referee did well. It was a correct call. The Nigerian player pushed Baba Iddrisu and that made him touched the ball," Pinnick stated on Akoma FM.

Nigeria thought they had won a penalty in the 76th minute when the referee pointed to the spot after the ball had struck the hand of the Ghanaian player.

But after the VAR review, which showed that Baba had been fouled first, their joy and hope of possibly carrying the day as a result of a penalty was cut short by Redouane Jiyed, the Moroccan referee who officiated the match.

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Meanwhile, after the goalless draw with their Nigerian counterparts at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Friday, the Black Stars of Ghana are expected to travel to Nigeria for the return leg on Tuesday, March 29.

Ghana is hoping to make its fourth qualification for the FIFA World Cup tournament, to be hosted in Qatar later this year.

Amaju Pinnick believes that playing the return march in Nigeria will give the Super Eagles a better chance to beat the Black Stars and qualify for the World Cup.

"We have no problem with officiating. However, we will win convincingly at home. Our team is better but we were unfortunate today. Football is football," the Nigerian FA boss said.

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