News filtered in on Tuesday that home-based Super Eagles coach, Salisu Yusuf had recalled dropped Plateau United centre back Elisha Golbe to the team’s camp ahead of Saturday’s second leg qualifying tie against Benin in Kano.
The decision came after Orji Kalu Okogbue’s red card after the full time whistle in Sunday’s first leg loss to the Squirrels in Benin. With referees empowered by recent amendments in the Laws of the Game to even dismiss a player before the start of a match, Nigeria must now find a replacement for a vital member of the team ahead of the crucial second leg game.
Okogbue, 25, who stars for 2016 Nigerian league champions Rangers was booked in the first half of Sunday’s game for a foul. There were lots of complaints about the performance of the match officials from the Nigerian contingent to Benin including Nigeria’s Football Federation President, Amaju Pinnick.
Okogbue perhaps then took his own level of protestation a tad too far, confronting the match officials from Algeria after the final whistle. Apparently riled by Kalu’s behaviour, the referee showed him a yellow card and added to the one he picked up in the first half, it meant he misses the return leg in Kano on Saturday.
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Among other things, one matter of concern which Okogbue’s “moment of madness” placed on the front burner was the level of petulance and players’ lack of control often exhibited by players in Nigeria’s top flight league, the NPFL.
Players are often fed with mischievous notions about match officials before league games, some which often fuel their irritant behaviours towards the arbiters on the field of play.
Rio Nnaji is a Nigerian based in the United States and having worked with former African Champions, Enyimba recently, he corroborates this to ACLSports.