Super Eagles captain, Mikel Obi, has questioned referee Cuneyt Cakir refusal to award a penalty to Nigeria when Marcos Rojo handled the ball inside the box in the final group D game of the World Cup.
Nigeria and Argentina were on level terms after Lionel Messi’s 14th minute goal and Victor Moses equaliser through a 51st minute penalty. Shortly after, Ahmed Musa drove in from the left flank and crossed to Odion Ighalo in the box but Marcos Rojo, in a bid to stop the ball from getting to Ighalo, headed and controlled with his hand.
Captain Mikel Obi protested to the referee for a penalty prompting a recourse to the VAR and Mikel says he is disappointed that even when the analysis clearly proved there was ball handling, he refused to award the penalty.
“I don’t understand how that wasn’t a pensty. Even Cedric Soares’ foul by which Saudi Arabia was awarded a penalty against Portugal was not as clear and as bad as the ball hand in this case.
“When he came from the VAR, I asked him if he saw it was a handball, he said yes but he will not award a penalty. I asked him why and he said he doesn’t know. May be after giving us a first penalty, he didn’t want to give a second. But a penalty is penalty.”
Interestingly, it was Rojo who scored the winner against Nigeria in the dying minute of the game.