Russia-born Super Eagles defender Bryan Oladapo Idowu is confident there will not be officiating problem when Nigeria face Argentina on Tuesday in their 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia final group D game.
2015 UEFA Champions League final referee Cüynet Çakir was on Sunday appointed by FIFA to take charge of the much talked about game and there has been some mild fears among Nigerians that the Eagles might suffer from officiating disadvantage during the game at St Petersburg.
www.aclsports.com’s Chief Football Writer Fisayo Dairo asked the 26-year old how prepared they are for the psychological battle ahead of them.
“I’ve seen that the referee is going to be Çakir,” replied Idowu who plays in the Russian Premier League with Amkar Perm.
“He is a very well known referee. He officiated a lot of Champions League matches in the semi-finals and final so I don’t think it is going to be about the match officials against us and yeah, the coach spoke with us that we just have to be calm and exhibit fair play and be prepared for any situation that is going to happen on the pitch.
“We are not thinking about the officials, the match is in our hands and our legs,” he added.
Nigeria and Argentina are familiar foes at World Cup level with the South Americans having a four-game winning streak against the Super Eagles at the Mundial. Idowu, who has seven caps for Nigeria insists that was in the past and his team are ready to change the tide.
“I think that we’ve met Argentina a lot of times at the World Cup but it doesn’t add pressure to us because that was in the past and now we’re in the present.
“The present is more important right now so we have watched the matches from the past and hope to learn from the mistakes we made and hopefully we are going to do a good game.”
Tuesday’s game will take place at St Petersburg, the city where Idowu was born in 1992. The full/wing back however has his place in the starting lineup threatened by Benfica’s new acquisition Tyronne Ebuehi who excelled when he came on at half time against Iceland.