Nigeria’s coach blasts ref

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iol spt june30 Ref Geiger Getty Images Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi hit out at American referee Mark Geiger after his side lost 2-0 to France in the World Cup last 16 in Brasilia. Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

BRASïLIA – Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi hit out at American referee Mark Geiger after his side lost 2-0 to France in the World Cup last 16 in Brasilia.

“The referee is a human being and is bound to make mistakes, but a lot of mistakes is questionable,” Keshi told his post-match press conference at the Mane Garrincha National Stadium. “I'm not happy with the officiating.”

Keshi was aggrieved that Emmanuel Emenike had a first-half goal ruled out for offside, although replays suggested the call was correct, and also felt France had been allowed to get away with some over-zealous tackling

Blaise Matuidi was only booked for an ugly challenge on Ogenyi Onazi that ended the Nigerian midfielder's game, while Olivier Giroud escaped punishment after catching John Mikel Obi with his elbow.

“On two occasions Onazi received very bad tackles and nothing was done about it. He is out now probably for weeks,” Keshi added.

“This is the first time I've spoken about the referee in my life, because it wasn't good.”

France prevailed through a 79th-minute Paul Pogba header and an injury-time own goal by Joseph Yobo, and will face either Germany or Algeria in the quarter-finals. – Sapa-AFP


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