Nigeria has never won a match officiated by the referee.
Some Nigerians have expressed fears over the South African referee, Daniel Benneth, who is to officiate the crucial match between Nigeria and Liberia on Saturday.
The winner of the match will qualify for the 2013 African Cup of Nations to be hosted by South Africa. A goalless or a 1-1 draw will also favour Nigeria in a match to be played in Calabar
The Nigerians who expressed worries about Benneth’s past officiating of games involving Nigerian teams said they hoped Saturday’s game would be different from previous ones as Nigeria has never won a match officiated by Bennett since June 2005.
Some of the previous games, involving Nigerian teams, that Benneth officiated include the semi-final match of the CAF Orange Champions League between Nigeria’s Sunshine Stars and El Ahly in Ijebuode, Ogun State, last week. The match commissioner in that game was Liberia’s Andy Quamie and the game ended 3-3.
Benneth was also the centre man when Rwanda drew goalless with Nigeria in a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Amahoro Stadium in Kigali on February 29, 2012.
Benneth also handled the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final match in which Ghana beat Nigeria 1-0.
He also officiated the match in which Nigeria drew 2-2 at home to Tunisia in a 2010 World Cup qualifier on September 6, 2009.
Benneth also refereed the 1-1 draw between Nigeria and Angola in a 2006 World Cup qualifying match in Kano, in June 2005.
Popular sports journalist, Kayode Tijani, made allusion to Benneth’s threat in his tweets on Friday.
“PLEASE NIGERIA let’s pray against the Evil that comes with South African Referee DANIEL BENNETH vs Liberia.Dude never ever favours us Ever!” Kayode tweeted.
“Nigerian Football shall overcome Unfavourable decisions of DANIEL BENNETT on Saturday Vs Liberia,” he added.
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