Nigerian teams are out of the 2015 edition of the CAF Champions league after Enyimba’s 2-0 loss to Smouha FC of Egypt in Alexandria on Sunday.
Kano Pillars were ousted on Saturday by Morocco’s Moghreb Tetouan despite their 2-1 win at the Sani Abacha stadium in Kano, and Enyimba, a former Champions League winner, could not also pull through.
The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi, who was at the match venue, as well as Enyimba FC chairman, Felix Anyansi-Agwu, however, expressed indignation at the manner of refereeing.
“The officiating was highly questionable. No wonder the Smouha FC officials refused to allow any recording of the game. This is bad for African football,” Sanusi said at the final whistle.
Anyansi-Agwu, also member of the NFF Executive Committee, wondered what could have been had his People’s Elephant been able to hold out for the last six minutes.
“My players gave their all, but poor officiating did not help our case and was quite bad in the final minutes,” he lamented.
Having won the first leg 1-0 in Aba, Enyimba needed to tighten up the rear and looked to be on the road to success with only six minutes to go, but then conceded two late goals to exit Africa’s most prestigious club competition.
Four-time champions, TP Mazembe of Democratic Republic of Congo, reached the second round with a 3-1 defeat of Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in Lubumbashi, edging the fixture 3-2.
Ghanaians Asante Kotoko, African champions in 1970 and 1983, were downed 2-1 in Kumasi by MC El Eulma of Algeria, after both teams tied 0-0 in North Africa.
Sanga Balende of DR Congo and AC Leopards of Congo-Brazzaville also progressed at the expense of Cotonsport Garoua and Gor Mahia respectively.