By Nurudeen Obalola:
World football governing body FIFA have thrown out Zambia’s protest regarding the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier against Nigeria on 7 October in Uyo, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Nigeria won the match 1-0 and qualified for their third straight World Cup with a match to spare in African qualifying Group B.
But the Football Association of Zambia were aggrieved that the referee, Joshua Bondo from their neighbours Botswana, was not entirely fair in his handling of the match. FAZ filed a formal protest to FIFA asking them to look into the matter.
Zambia’s grouse is that their ‘goal’ was disallowed by the referee, although the goal in question was scored after one of the assistant referees had clearly flagged for offside and effectively stopped play.
However, in a letter addressed to FAZ and signed by Julien Deux of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee , FIFA dismissed the case for lacking merit, telling the Zambians to accept the result and referring them to Article 15, Paragraph 6 of the World Cup regulations.
FIFA said there was “no evidence of any infringement of the regulations by the referees”.
The FIFA letter was uploaded to a social media group by a Nigeria Football Federation official on Friday.
A World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Senegal was recently ordered to be replayed by FIFA after the Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey, who had given a dubious penalty to hosts South Africa in the 2-1 win, was found guilty of match manipulation and banned for life.